Oroville Dam

SECTOR: Dams & Levees

Oroville, California


Spillway reconstruction monitoring

The Oroville Dam, one of the tallest dams in the United States at 235 metres, experienced significant spillway damage in 2017 after a period of prolonged heavy rains, prompting the evacuation of 188,000 people downstream.

Kiewit Construction led the reconstruction efforts, while Terracon was responsible for geotechnical instrumentation and monitoring. Several SAAV model ShapeArrays, along with traditional in-place inclinonmeters, were installed to monitor movement and slope stability during the spillway’s reconstruction. The ShapeArrays, connected to the sensemetrics wireless THREAD platform provided project managers with near real-time automated data collection and viewing. According to sensemetrics, the contractor budgeted a three-week period to install and automate the sensored instrumentation, but with the ease of installation and platform integration, the work was completed just in three days. The ShapeArrays used on site were installed in a single morning.

Repair construction on the main spillway was completed in October 2018.


[1] “188,000 evacuated as California’s massive Oroville Dam threatens catastrophic floods – The Washington Post.” [Online]. Available: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/13/not-a-drill-thousands-evacuated-in-calif-as-oroville-dam-threatens-to-flood/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0efc6e058672. [Accessed: 31-Oct-2018].

  • 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


    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


    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


    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