OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 51, Iss. 14 — May. 10, 2012
  • pp: 2664–2671

Measurement of wide frequency range structural microvibrations with a pocket digital camera and sub-pixel techniques

David Mas, Julian Espinosa, Ana B. Roig, Belen Ferrer, Jorge Perez, and Carlos Illueca  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 51, Issue 14, pp. 2664-2671 (2012)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (647 KB) | SpotlightSpotlight on Optics Open Access

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Analysis of vibrations and displacements is a hot topic in structural engineering. Although there is a wide variety of methods for vibration analysis, direct measurement of displacements in the mid and high frequency range is not well solved and accurate devices tend to be very expensive. Low-cost systems can be achieved by applying adequate image processing algorithms. In this paper, we propose the use of a commercial pocket digital camera, which is able to register more than 420 frames per second (fps) at low resolution, for accurate measuring of small vibrations and displacements. The method is based on tracking elliptical targets with sub-pixel accuracy. Our proposal is demonstrated at a 10 m distance with a spatial resolution of 0.15 mm. A practical application over a simple structure is given, and the main parameters of an attenuated movement of a steel column after an impulsive impact are determined with a spatial accuracy of 4 µm.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(040.7290) Detectors : Video
(100.2000) Image processing : Digital image processing
(100.4999) Image processing : Pattern recognition, target tracking

ToC Category:
Image Processing

Original Manuscript: December 14, 2011
Revised Manuscript: February 23, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: February 24, 2012
Published: May 10, 2012

Virtual Issues
July 10, 2012 Spotlight on Optics

David Mas, Julian Espinosa, Ana B. Roig, Belen Ferrer, Jorge Perez, and Carlos Illueca, "Measurement of wide frequency range structural microvibrations with a pocket digital camera and sub-pixel techniques," Appl. Opt. 51, 2664-2671 (2012)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. C. Gentile and A. Saisi, “Ambient vibration testing of historic masonry towers for structural identification and damage assessment,” Constr. Build. Mater. 21, 1311–1321 (2007). [CrossRef]
  2. A. K. Chopra, “Equations of Motion, Problem Statement and Solution Methods,” eds.,B. Stenquist and K. Scherwatzky, in Dynamic of Structures: Theory and Applications to Earthquake Engineering, 2nd Ed. (Prentice-Hall, 2001), pp. 23–25.
  3. S. C. Stiros, “Errors in velocities and displacements deduced from accelerographs: An approach based on the theory of error propagation,” Soil Dyn. Earthq. Eng. 28, 415–420 (2008). [CrossRef]
  4. A. Cunha, E. Caetano, and R. Delgado, “Dynamic tests on a large cable-stayed bridge,” J. Bridge Eng. ASCE 6, 54–62 (2001).
  5. H. N. Nassif, M. Gindy, and J. Davis, “Comparison of laser Doppler vibrometer with contact sensors for monitoring bridge deflection and vibration,” NDT & E Int. 38, 213–128 (2005). [CrossRef]
  6. M. Pieraccini, M. Fratini, F. Parrini, C. Atzeni, and G. Bartoli, “Interferometric radar vs. accelerometer for dynamic monitoring of large structures: An experimental comparison,” NDT & E Int. 41, 258–264 (2008). [CrossRef]
  7. C. Gentile and G. Bernardini, “Output-only modal identification of a reinforced concrete bridge from radar-based measurements,” Nondestr. Test. Eval. 41, 544–553.(2008). [CrossRef]
  8. J. J. Lee and M. Shinozuka, “A vision-based system for remote sensing of bridge displacement,” NDT & E International 39, 425–431 (2006). [CrossRef]
  9. B. Ferrer, J. Espinosa, J. Perez, S. Iborra, and D. Mas, “Optical scanning for structural vibration measurement,” Res. Nondestruct. Eval. 22, 61–75 (2011). [CrossRef]
  10. Edmund Optics Catalog, http://www.edmundoptics.com .
  11. M. R. Shortis, T. A. Clarke, and T. Short, “Comparison of some techniques for the sub-pixel location of discrete target image,” Proc. SPIE 2350, 239–250 (1994). [CrossRef]
  12. M. R. Shortis, T. A. Clarke, and S. Robson, “Practical testing of the precision and accuracy of target image centring algorithms,” Proc. SPIE 2598, 65–76 (1995). [CrossRef]
  13. A. M. Brucksteinand and A. O’Gorman, “Design of shapes for precise Image registration,” IEEE Trans. Inf. Theory 44, 3156–3162 (1998). [CrossRef]
  14. J. C. Trinder, J. Jansa, and Y. Huang, “An assessment of the precision and accuracy of methods of digital target localization,” ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 50, 12–20 (1995). [CrossRef]
  15. I. Maalen-Johansen, “On the precision of sub-pixel measurements in videometry,” Proc. SPIE 2252, 169–178 (1993). [CrossRef]
  16. J. C. Crocker and D. G. Grier, “Methods of digital video microscopy for colloidal studies,” J. Colloid Interface Sci. 179, 298–310 (1996). [CrossRef]
  17. R. Kuritaand and E. R. Weeks, “Experimental study of random close-packed colloidal particles,” Phys. Rev. E 82, 011403 (2010). [CrossRef]
  18. W. Tong, “Sub-pixel image registration with reduced bias,” Opt. Lett. 36, 763–765 (2011). [CrossRef]
  19. O. Gal, http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/3215-fitellipse .
  20. Mathworks Inc, http://www.mathworks.es/help/toolbox/images/ .
  21. LS-DYNA Keyword User’s Manual (v.970), Livermore Software Technology Corporation, April2003.

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

Supplementary Material

» Media 1: AVI (83977 KB)     
» Media 2: AVI (10322 KB)     

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited