Oct 13, 2020

Heavy-duty settlement monitoring: SAAX redesigned

Tyler Morency
4 years ago

Heavy-duty settlement monitoring: Introducing the redesigned SAAX

Measurand launched SAAX in 2014 because our clients needed a rugged, cost-effective solution for real-time ground settlement, subsidence, rail-line deformation, and pipeline monitoring. Now, in 2020, Measurand is proud to announce the next step in the evolution of the most rugged and durable ShapeArray we sell—SAAX model 003. 

SAAX is purpose-built for heavy-duty horizontal installations for ground settlement and displacement monitoring at a project budget-friendly price-point. 

SAAX project applications for settlement monitoring

Long-time Measurand distributor, Cautus Geo, submerged a number of overlapping SAAX ShapeArrays to create a single, nearly kilometre-long, deformation profile along the floor of Gilhusbukta Bay, Norway.

Two field technicians inspect a Cautus Geo datalogger near Gihusbukta Bay.

SAAX ShapeArrays were installed below the busy streets of Los Angeles to monitor the construction of 1.8 km of twin-tube bored tunnels as part of LA Metro’s light rail extension. Extremely precise monitoring was needed to ensure that ground movement did not exceed the maximum allowable displacement of 13 mm and that adjacent buildings and utilities were not damaged during the tunnel boring machine’s (TBM) drive.

Crew awaits a Tunnel Boring Machine to complete its drive.

SAAX is currently installed to measure the effects of frost-heave near a commercial railway as part of a multi-year research project funded by the National Research Council (NRC).

SAAX installation alongside railway track

Settlement monitoring

Changes in ground movement can be caused by a variety of natural and human forces and the timeline of these changes varies greatly from project to project. The ground settlement process can range from days to decades depending on factors such as soil permeability and drainage patterns.
Ongoing monitoring of any project is central to preventing damage to the construction caused by unexpected ground movement. Continued monitoring, post-construction, allows for the detection of settlement anomalies as early as possible. This allows for early intervention and adjustments to the construction before more serious damage has a chance to occur. 

What has changed?

Redesigned joints 

SAAX features watertight crimped joint construction to replace the previous mechanical jointing, reducing the points of potential failure.   

Steel braid exterior

A new steel braid exterior adds a layer of extra protection and durability to SAAX, similar to the steel braid that has been part of the SAAV since 2017, and the legacy ShapeArray model SAAF.  

Increased standard length  

Clients are now able to order a standard length SAAX up to 200 metres, up from 150 metres, a 33% increase over the previous standard length available. For SAAX orders over 200 metres, contact Measurand sales.

What is the same? 

The durable construction 

SAAX still boasts heavy-duty waterproof construction—1000 mm segments of heavy-walled stainless-steel tubing with robust, flexible joints, now wrapped in a layer of steel braid.

The installation method 

SAAX installs with the same horizontal installation kit as the previous SAAX model.   

The price 

SAAX remains the most cost-effective ShapeArray to create long-length deformation profiles for soil settlement monitoring.  

The sensors 

Every ShapeArray we sell contains the same triaxial MEMS accelerometers that produce the deformation data that our clients trust and rely on.

  • 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