The authors of this article confronted the problem to perform remote sub-millimeter oscillation measurement of structures, in a contactless and cost-effective manner. The proposed approach is based on the use of a commercial pocket camera, a special target to be applied on the structure under investigation, and the development of a dedicated post-processing software able to efficiently reduce the noise. The proposed method effectively pushes the vision-based measurement approach in structural engineering to sub-pixel accuracy. No installation of transducers on the surface is needed, and the errors due to numerical integration are no longer present.
Even if this approach was demonstrated in only two simple cases, it is surely promising because it can be implemented with virtually any pocket camera without the need of specific software; moreover, if used in combination with high-end cameras characterized by higher spatial and temporal resolutions, it should allow the achievement of higher performances. Even if not directly reported, the simultaneous monitoring of more than one observation point on the scene acquired by the camera should be straightforward; this possibility could allow many simultaneous observations of different parts of the structure with one single measurement session (which in the testing of a large civil structure can be a considerable practical advantage). A possible future advancement of this method should be the possibility to operate without the need of applying the targets on the surface under investigation.
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