Evaluation of low-cost MEMS accelerometers for SHM: frequency and damping identification of civil structures


Lat. Am. j. solids struct.




Abstract Sensing techniques based on accelerometers for modal parameters identification are among the most studied and applied in Structural Health Monitoring of civil structures. The advent of low-cost MEMS accelerometers and open-source electronic platforms, such as Arduino, have facilitated the design of low-cost systems suitable for modal identification, although there is still a lack of studies regarding practical application and comparison of commercially available low-cost accelerometers under SHM conditions. This work presents an experimental performance evaluation of six low-cost MEMS accelerometers for the identification of natural frequencies and damping ratios of a three-storey frame model and a reinforced concrete slab, as well as their noise characteristics. A low-cost Arduino-based data acquisition system was used. The results showed an overall good performance of the MEMS accelerometers, with identified natural frequencies errors within 1.02% and 7.76% of reference values, for the three-storey frame and concrete slab, respectively, and a noise density as low as 108 g/√Hz.

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