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Published July 27, 2016 | Submitted
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Characterizing Deformation of Buildings from Videos


We have started to explore the feasibility of extracting useful data on the deformation of buildings and structures based on optical videos, (Taghavi Larigani & Heaton). In the beginning, we look at the characterizations and limitations of the hardware, which is composed of a high-quality digital camera, combined with its optical imaging system capturing a video-footage of the structure under test, and then introduce a straightforward targets-tracking algorithm that produces the time-series displacements of targets that we select on the video. We performed preliminary measurements consisting of testing our targets-tracking algorithm using high definition format videos displaying the structures that we wanted to test. The measurements pertain to a 1) finite-element software-generated video of JPL/NASA principal building, 2) YouTube-video of a seismic dynamic test of a building, 3) YouTube-video of the Millennium London Bridge "Wobbly Bridge", 4) YouTube-video of a United Boeing 777, 4) YouTube-video of NASA space shuttle rockets during launch. So far, our tests are encouraging. If our approach proves viable, it can be transformative for the field of earthquake engineering and structural health monitoring. Hence, we consider the prospect of using our technique for surveying buildings and other civil structures in high seismic risk urban agglomerations. In parallel, the same technique could be applied for 1) real-time structural health monitoring of civil structures, 2) nuclear plants, 3) oil and gas infrastructures, 4) rail & road networks, 5) aircraft, 6) spacecraft, 7) etc., by simply analyzing the structure-facing camera recorded data.

Additional Information

The authors are thankful to Anthony Massari for providing ETABS generated data pertaining to JPL/NASA building 180 dynamics. Shervin Taghavi Larigani is grateful to Mr Micheal David Donohoe (STL-Scientific), and thanks Dr Jakob Vanzyl (Caltech & NASA/JPL), Prof Michael Hoffmann (Caltech), Prof Mark Simons (Caltech), Prof Luis Rivera (Caltech & Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg), Prof James Rice (Harvard University), Mr B. Afshar, Dr Renaud Goullioud (JPL/NASA), Mr A. Gerber (JPL/NASA), Colonel B. Cox (USAF ret & JPL/NASA), Prof Christopher Boxe (City University of New York), Prof Guruswami Ravichandran (Caltech), Dr Thomas Ader (Caltech), Mr J. Kelin, Dr Andrea Donnellan (JPL/NASA), Major F. Nassirkhani (IIAF pilot ret), Prof Andrew Ingersoll (Caltech), Prof Yuk Yung (Caltech), Dr Ramses Mourhatch (JPL/NASA), Prof John Baldeschwieler (Caltech emeritus), Dr Ken Pickar (Caltech), Mr R. Stuchter (Programmed Scientific Instruments) and last but not least Mr Sang Chung (JPL/NASA) for their fruitful conversations and help.

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Submitted - TaghaviLarigani_Heaton_final.pdf


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August 20, 2023
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