Sep 29, 2021

ShapeArray remote monitoring: Top five considerations when using ShapeArray with remote monitoring

Tyler Morency
3 weeks ago

ShapeArray remote monitoring: Top five considerations when using ShapeArray with remote monitoring

ShapeArrayTM‘s true utility is revealed when it’s configured for remote monitoring, especially automated remote monitoring. However, there are several factors to consider when planning a remote monitoring program with ShapeArray.

The top five considerations when using ShapeArray with remote monitoring:

Project site environment

Is the site a large open-air environment with clear lines of site, such as a tailings dam facility (TSF) or highway slope embankment? Or is it in a subsurface, urban environment that is difficult or even hazardous for workers to access? The unique conditions of the project site will help determine if a remote monitoring program is more attractive than a manual one to start, specifically with regards to wired or wireless monitoring solutions and data communication. Expansive, open-air project sites with unobstructed line-of-sight and heavy traffic lend themselves well to wireless remote monitoring systems. Alternatively, tight, confined environments like tunnels or other urban construction sites might be better served with longer wired connections between ShapeArrays and the data acquisition system.

Total sensorized length required

Some understanding of the shear zone location based on geological assessments will help plan your remote monitoring strategy. Longer ShapeArray’s have different power requirements than ShapeArray’s shorter than 30 meters. Those requirements may come into play depending on what kind of data collection methods you wish to use.

ShapeArray’s sensorized segments can be raised or lowered to target the zone of interest with extension tubes and silent segments

Wired or wireless connectivity

If you think of your home’s internet connection—using a Wi-Fi router gives you the convenience of using a laptop or a mobile phone anywhere in the house without the use of wires. However, that convenience can come with a compromise of performance, with users opting to directly connect their desktops to their modem via ethernet cable to make sure their connection speeds are as fast as possible. ShapeArray works in a similar fashion. For the fastest sample rates, clients can opt for wired connections between their instruments and data loggers. For a simpler solution to complex onsite cable management, clients may select wireless data connectivity between their ShapeArray and their data acquisition system. This approach is especially useful on high-traffic sites where hardwired connections can be accidentally damaged by heavy equipment.

Data Acquisition System

Measurand offers three in-house data acquisition systems (DAS) to help clients get their remote automated deformation monitoring program up and running. For wired remote monitoring, the DAS-1 and DAS-5 house Campbell Scientific data loggers and other components within a weatherproof NEMA 4-rated enclosure for one to five ShapeArrays respectively. These DAS enclosures can either store that ShapeArray data for manual retrieval or can be configured to transmit data via third-party communication solutions.

For wireless remote monitoring, Measurand’s DAS-RSTAR combines Campbell Scientific data loggers with RST Instruments’ RTU for wireless radio communication with ShapeArrays connected to DT-ShapeArray loggers.

In addition, Measurand also partners with several third-party leaders like sensemetrics, Worldsensing, and Ackcio for flexible wireless remote monitoring. Many of these solutions can be thought of as a digital node and hub—with a digital node communicating data from geotechnical sensors to a centralized hub that sends that data to the cloud via cellular or satellite.

There are several ShapeArray data collection and viewing options available to best fit your project’s remote monitoring requirements.

Data Viewing

Measurand’s software package—SAASuite—bundles all the applications required to install, configure, record, and view ShapeArray data. However, Measurand’s open export policy means that clients can integrate their ShapeArray data into whatever workflows best suit their needs. SAASuite tools enable automated exports to third-party data delivery and viewing software. ShapeArray data is viewable with a number of industry-leading third-party solution providers like Vista Data Vision, Canary, and many, many others.


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  • 1993

    The Beginning

    Measurand is established in Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • 1994

    Bend sensor development

    Measurand develops and patents fiber optic bend and position sensors for the medical and automotive sectors

    U.S. Patent 5,321,257

  • 1995

    Canadian Space Agency

    Receives funding from the CSA to develop sensor technology that ultimately leads to invention of ShapeTape

    U.S. Patent 5,633,494

  • 1999

    Patent on fiber optic sensor

    Measurand receives patent for "Fiber Optic Bending and Positioning Sensor" issued June 29, 1999

    Canadian Patent 2,073,162

  • 2001

    ShapeTape & ShapeHand debut

    Measurand designs and develops innovative motion capture technology

    U.S. Patent 6,127,672, 6,563,107

  • 2002

    Measurand Attends the ICPMG

    First contact with the geotechnical sector at the International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (ICPMG)
  • 2004

    ShapeArray

    Design patent application sent about a new product designed to meet the specific needs of the geotechnical industry

    U.S. Patent 6,127,672, 6,563,107

  • 2005-08

    ShapeWrap

    Measurand debuts ShapeWrap motion capture technology for the film and animation industry

    U.S. Patent 7,296,363

  • 2006

    Malibu installation

    ShapeAccelArray installed for ground monitoring for the first time​ in Malibu, CA

    Canadian Patent 2,472,421

  • 2007

    ShapeMRI

    Suite of instrumentation developed for motion capture within Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines

    U.S. Patent 7,296,363

  • 2011

    SAAScan launched

    Built for rapid deployment and repeated use

    Canadian Patent 2,472,421

  • 2014

    SAAX launched

    Purpose-built for heavy-duty horizontal installation

    Canadian application 2,815,199 & 2,815,195

  • 2017

    SAAV launched

    The only geotechnical instrument with a patented cyclical installation method

    Cyclical Sensor Array, Canadian application 2,815,199 & 2,911,175