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Optical (Camera-Based) Technology for Seismic Risk Assessment

[+] Author Affiliations
Thomas Wischgoll, Tara C. Hutchinson, Falko Kuester

University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA

Paper No. IMECE2003-42078, pp. 49-56; 8 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Engineering/Technology Management: Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis, Technology and Society, Engineering Business Management, and Homeland Security
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Engineering and Technology Management Group
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3728-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Due to an increasing bandwidth for data transport in recent computers, optical (camera-based) sensors with high frame rates and reasonable resolutions can nowadays be used with off-the-shelf computers. By monitoring buildings, bridges and other infrastructure with such sensors, they can greatly assist in risk assessment. In this paper, several field application examples are described, largely encompassing the areas of civil infrastructure monitoring. Optical (camera-based) systems can be particularly powerful for monitoring both local and global movements within a scene or environment. Therefore, natural hazards induced by such movements, for example during earthquake events, are an important application area for these new technologies. First, a clear definition of seismic risk assessment is provided. Subsequently, two important fields where cameras may be useful in seismic risk assessment are described. Specifically, the context of (i) early warning systems and (ii) post-earthquake assessment are addressed. An example of using the optical record from a series of large shake table tests is provided and comparison with other methods discussed.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME
Topics: Risk assessment



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