Development of the automatic data management and the analysis of integrated deformation measurements

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The monitoring of deformations and the analysis of deformation measurements have recently evolved to the limit that technology can provide. Traditionally, geotechnical measurements have been perform and analysed separately from geodetic surveys (angles, distances, and high differences). It is now possible to deal with them together in an integrated analysis, largely due to the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Generalized Method for the analysis of deformation measurements. Current microcomputer technology allows for the collection and on-site analysis of measurements. The automation, or computer control, of data collection, processing, and analysis has decided advantages over manual methods, particularly concerning data integrity and the handling of large volumes of repeated measurements. A system, “DAMADA”, for the management of data for deformation analysis, from the time of sensing to the depiction of the deformation, was developed to facilitate the implementation of integrated analyses using the UNB Generalized Method. In doing so, it makes the collection, processing and analysis of both geotechnical and geodetic data as automated as would be practical. DAMADA has been successfully applied at a hydro-electric power generating station. The experiences of that application have led to several conclusions. The testing and calibration of instrumentation can improve the reliability and fidelity of the data, especially over long term repeated use in monitoring. DAMADA automatically accounts for routine testing and calibration as an integral part of the observation regimen. Three dimensional coordination of all observation points, geotechnical as well as geodetic, can facilitate the trend analysis, modelling, and depiction of the deformation of a structure. DAMADA can run on a modest microcomputer (80287) under DOS and is limited only by the storage capacity of the computer’s hard drive. Although it currently considers horizontal and vertical geodetic observations separately, DAMADA is flexible enough that it could accommodate the simultaneous three dimensional monitoring of a structure.