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Shock and Vibration
Volume 9, Issue 1-2, Pages 11-18

Comparison between Accelerometer and Laser Vibrometer to Measure Traffic Excited Vibrations on Bridges

G. Rossi,1 R. Marsili,1 V. Gusella,2 and M. Gioffrè2

1Dip. di Ingegneria Industriale – Universit à degli Studi di Perugia, Via G. Duranti n∘ 1/A-4 – 06125 Perugia, Italy
2Dip. di Ingegneria Civile e Ambientale – Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italy

Received 25 March 2002; Revised 25 March 2002

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The use of accelerometer based measurement techniques for evaluating bridge forced vibrations or to perform bridge modal analysis is well established. It is well known to all researchers who have experience in vibration measurements that values of acceleration amplitude can be very low at low frequencies and that a limitation to the use of accelerometer can be due to the threshold parameter of this kind of transducer. Under this conditions the measurement of displacement seems more appropriate. On the other hand laser vibrometer systems detect relative displacements as opposed to the absolute measures of accelerometers. Vibrations have been measured simultaneously by a typical accelerometer for civil structures and by a laser vibrometer equipped with a fringe counter board in terms of velocity and displacements. The accelerations calculated from the laser vibrometer signals and the one directly measured by the accelerometer has been compared.