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MEMS Sensors and Structural Health Monitoring System successfully deployed in Chilean earthquake zone

29 August 2010

Valuable Data for Future Earthquake Design and Building Code Development

Scottsdale, AZ (USA) and Neuchatel, (Switzerland), 17 August, 2010, Digitexx Inc and Colibrys SA announced today the successful results of an innovative mobile Structural Health Monitoring system deployed since March in a newly constructed building in Vina del Mar, Chile. The system has 16 Colibrys MEMS based accelerometers embedded throughout the building to monitor the integrity of the building structure during ongoing construction these past months.

The Digitexx PDAQ (Portable Data Acquisition System) is an all-inclusive, fully-portable, battery or AC power operated 16 channel system with integrated hardware and software to measure, record, broadcast and analyze building dynamic response. The system is used for Structural Health Monitoring. Real-time streaming acceleration data is provided both locally as well as remotely via a proprietary Client Software transmitted via the Internet. When an event happens, such as an earthquake or an aftershock, and any pre-set thresholds are surpassed, an email alert goes out. To date the system has recorded 100’s of aftershocks.

Digitexx was invited by EERI (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute) to participate on the Instrumentation Team of the Earthquake Reconnaissance in March following the 8.8 magnitude in Chile late February. While on location, Digitexx brought a PDAQ to instrument a building with a common architectural design to most urban commercial/residential space in Chile. In a matter of hours, the system was installed and fully functioning and continues to run today. Data is now being viewed and analyzed locally in Chile as well as by earthquake and structural engineering institutions in the United States and throughout the world.

“We are extremely proud to provide a tool for the benefit of earthquake engineering research”, stated Mark Sereci, CEO of Digitexx. “The rapid deployment of a portable, Structural Health Monitoring System has enabled post earthquake construction to proceed with knowledge despite repeated aftershocks. The system provides building structural engineers with real-time data to compare to their calculations of the building’s key parameters (natural frequency, modes, damping, etc.). In addition, the multiple remote-access Clients have allowed visibility to real-time data and analysis across the globe which can prove an invaluable aid in the development of future seismic building codes”.

The Colibrys CEO, Sean Neylon, was proud to state “We are excited to be a part of a system and project that provides such important data in our global quest to learn how to save lives when natural events such as earthquakes take place. The MEMS Seismic sensors incorporated into the accelerometers have confirmed once again their value as highly robust, high sensitivity, low current solution to help feed Building Monitoring systems. We are extremely proud at Colibrys in leading the world in the design and fabrication of MEMS Seismic sensors. Most of all we are extremely pleased to see our products used for the benefit of the Chilean people who continue to endure such extremely difficult times”.

Digitexx Data Systems Inc:
Founded in 2000, Digitexx was the first company in the industry to develop real-time Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems for a variety of structural applications including: bridges, buildings, dams, wind turbines, oil rigs and more. Digitexx's innovative and low-cost real-time Structural Health Monitoring systems assist engineers with non-destructive testing and early structural damage detection. When a natural or man-made event happens and a pre-set threshold has been triggered, the Digitexx Structural Health Monitoring system sends out an alert to designated parties providing them with immediate information to assist in rapid emergency response as well as repair and maintenance planning. Ultimately, Digitexx solutions help arm our customers with the tools and information to make informed decisions quickly. For more information and to view our introductory video, go to

About Colibrys:
Colibrys is a world-leading supplier of standard and semi-custom MEMS based motion sensors to the harsh-environments (Military, Aerospace and Energy) and safety critical (Industrial and Instrumentation) applications. Colibrys family of motion sensors includes extremely low noise and shock resistant seismic sensors, high stability high shock inertial accelerometers and DC coupled capacitive vibration sensors. Colibrys is based in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Additional information is available at

  • Colibrys (Switzerland) Ltd
    Av. des Sciences 13
    1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
    Switzerland / Europe
    Tel.: +41 58 100 5000
    Fax: +41 58 100 5001
    Web :
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