Research Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering


ShakeNet: A Tiered Wireless Accelerometer Network for Rapid Deployment in Civil Structures


ShakeNet is a portable wireless sensor network for instrumenting large civil structures such as buildings, bridges, and dams. It consists of 40 sensor nodes each equipped with a 24-bit analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) board supporting triaxial MEMS accelerometers suitable for vibration sensing, an imote2 CPU board for wireless communication, and battery. The system comes preloaded with sensing software as well as deployment tools that will enable civil engineers to rapidly deploy the network. In addition to the sensors, the system contains up to 10 master-tier nodes that provide increased communications capacity.

What makes ShakeNet unique among wireless vibration networks is its software subsystem. The software is built upon Tenet, a programmable wireless sensing software architecture designed for tiered sensor networks. ShakeNet software is being developed by Govindan's group at USC's Embedded Networks Laboratory in the Dept. of Computer Sciences. ShakeNet will be field tested in a variety of structures including steel moment-frame and base-isolated reinforced concrete buildings, a large earth-and-rock-fill dam, and a steel truss bridge that contains a water distribution pipe. An earlier prototype was successfully tested on the 1500-ft-span, suspension cable Vincent Thomas Bridge in the Los Angeles harbor.


Monica Kohler, Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Caltech
Ramesh Govindan, Department of Computer Sciences, USC
Nilesh Mishra, Department of Computer Sciences, USC
Shuai Hao, Department of Computer Sciences, USC
Bob Nigbor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UCLA

Laboratory Testing

Lab testing is being conducted at the USC Embedded Networks Lab in the Dept. of Computer Sciences and at the Caltech Dynamics Lab in the Dept. of Civil Engineering. Tests include

Publications / Posters / Abstracts

Funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Geological Survey