Development of lateral displacement sensor for real-time detection of structural damage

Iwao Matsuya*, Ryota Tomishi, Maya Sato, Kiyoshi Kanekawa, Yoshihiro Nitta, Motoichi Takahashi, Satoru Miura, Yasutsugu Suzuki, Tomohiko Hatada, Ryuta Katamura, Takashi Tanii, Shuichi Shoji, Akira Nishitani, Iwao Ohdomari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We have developed a novel sensor that enables us to measure the relative story displacement of a building structure in real time. This lateral displacement sensor (LDS) is composed of a light-emitting diode (LED) array, which is fixed on the ceiling, and a position-sensitive detector (PSD) unit, which is placed on the floor. We optimized the LDS to achieve high accuracy in lateral displacement measurement. The accuracy was evaluated to be 60 μm by conducting shaking table tests. Two LDSs were implemented in an actual building equipped with an active variable stiffness (AVS) system, and the building was vibrated with seismic waveforms by an exciter placed on the rooftop. The seismic displacement of the second floor relative to the first floor was measured using the LDS. Furthermore, the inclination angle of the second floor could be measured using the LDS during the seismic vibration. Using the AVS system, we realized the residual displacement of the second floor without inducing damage to the building, and succeeded in real-time residual displacement measurement for the first time. These results indicate that the LDS is useful for the health diagnosis of a building structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-272
Number of pages7
JournalIEEJ Transactions on Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May


  • Damage detection
  • Position-sensitive detector
  • Relative story displacement
  • Residual displacement
  • Structural health monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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