Global Positioning System (GPS) technology with 10-20-Hz sampling rates allows scientifically justified dynamic measurements of relative displacements of long-period structures. The displacement response of a simulated tall building in real time and permanent deployment of GPS units at the roof of a building are described. To the authors' best knowledge, this is the first permanent deployment of GPS units (in the world) for continuous dynamic monitoring of a tall building. Data recorded from the building during a windy day is analyzed to determine the structural characteristics. When recorded during extreme motions caused by earthquakes and strong winds, such measurements can be used to compute average drift ratios and changes in dynamic characteristics, and therefore can be used by engineers and building owners or managers to assess the structural integrity and performance by establishing pre-established thresholds. Such information can be used to secure public safety and/or take steps to improve the performance of the building.
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GPS in pioneering dynamic monitoring of long-period structures