A state-space approach for deriving bridge displacement from acceleration

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



The dynamic response (i.e., acceleration and displacement) of a bridge under vehicular load is an important component of design and evaluation. Field measurement of girder displacement, however, is generally nontrivial. Traditional sensors often require a stationary reference such as temporary scaffolds or a suspended cable. In either form, there are added costs, restrictions, and labor. As a result, there are both economic and practical incentives for developing methods that can use an accelerometer to measure both acceleration and displacement. One difficulty of this, however, is the presence of small low-frequency errors in the measured signal, which become sufficiently large through successive integrations and lead to a significantly distorted displacement profile. The objective of this article is to examine an analytical model based on the state-space approach for minimizing such errors and to compare results with two time domain correction methods. Field measurements from a three-span continuous bridge are used to assess the accuracy of each routine. © 2008 Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering.

Publication Title

Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering