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Performance of Several Low‐Cost Accelerometers

Evans, J. R. and Allen, Richard M. and Chung, A. I. and Cochran, E. S. and Guy, Richard and Hellweg, M. and Lawrence, J. F. (2014) Performance of Several Low‐Cost Accelerometers. Seismological Research Letters, 85 (1). pp. 147-158. ISSN 0895-0695.

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Several groups are implementing low-cost host-operated systems of strong-motion accelerographs to support the somewhat divergent needs of seismologists and earthquake engineers. The Advanced National Seismic System Technical Implementation Committee (ANSS TIC, 2002), managed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with other network operators, is exploring the efficacy of such systems if used in ANSS networks. To this end, ANSS convened a working group to explore available Class C strong-motion accelerometers (defined later), and to consider operational and quality control issues, and the means of annotating, storing, and using such data in ANSS networks. The working group members are largely coincident with our author list, and this report informs instrument-performance matters in the working group’s report to ANSS. Present examples of operational networks of such devices are the Community Seismic Network (CSN;, operated by the California Institute of Technology, and Quake-Catcher Network (QCN; Cochran et al., 2009;; November 2013), jointly operated by Stanford University and the USGS. Several similar efforts are in development at other institutions. The overarching goals of such efforts are to add spatial density to existing Class-A and Class-B (see next paragraph) networks at low cost, and to include many additional people so they become invested in the issues of earthquakes, their measurement, and the damage they cause.

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Cochran, E. S.0000-0003-2485-4484
Additional Information:© 2014 Seismological Society of America. Published: Jan 2014. Online Material: Description of typical Class-C MEMS accelerometers; example of Excel analysis sheet; table summaries of box-flip test results, sensor performance, and pricing information. The Community Seismic Network (CSN; R. Guy) is funded by Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and NSF award CNS 0932392; special thanks to Leif Strand of CSN for authoring the Phidgets testing application(s). The Quake Catcher Network (QCN; E. Cochran, J. Lawrence, and A. Chung) is a joint project of the USGS and Stanford University. MyShake (Droid smart phones; R. Allen) is funded by Deutsche Telekom. A note on units: In this report the unit “Graphic” (in italics) is used to mean the acceleration of gravity at the Earth’s surface; it does not mean grams (“Graphic” not italicized). One “standard Graphic” is 9.80665  m/s^2, but at the site of these experiments (Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory) the local value of Graphic is 9.79188087  m/s^2. We correct all our results from the local value of Graphic to the standard value. A note on trademarks: Trademarked or otherwise restricted names used in this report include Droid, Google Nexus One, HTC Magic, iPhone, O‐Navi LLC, Phidgets Inc., JoyWarrior, and Code Mercenaries Hard‐ und Software GmbH, Gulf Coast Data Concepts (GCDC), Excel, GeoSIG, Kinemetrics SMA‐1, and MATLAB. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
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Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140206-094054383
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Official Citation:Evans, J. R., Allen, R. M., Chung, A. I., Cochran, E. S., Guy, R., Hellweg, M., & Lawrence, J. F. (2014). Performance of Several Low‐Cost Accelerometers. Seismological Research Letters, 85(1), 147-158. doi: 10.1785/0220130091
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43691
Deposited By: Bianca Rios
Deposited On:06 Feb 2014 19:31
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:10

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