Semi-automatic determination of rockfall trajectories

Sensors (Basel). 2014 Sep 29;14(10):18187-210. doi: 10.3390/s141018187.


In determining rockfall trajectories in the field, it is essential to calibrate and validate rockfall simulation software. This contribution presents an in situ device and a complementary Local Positioning System (LPS) that allow the determination of parts of the trajectory. An assembly of sensors (herein called rockfall sensor) is installed in the falling block recording the 3D accelerations and rotational velocities. The LPS automatically calculates the position of the block along the slope over time based on Wi-Fi signals emitted from the rockfall sensor. The velocity of the block over time is determined through post-processing. The setup of the rockfall sensor is presented followed by proposed calibration and validation procedures. The performance of the LPS is evaluated by means of different experiments. The results allow for a quality analysis of both the obtained field data and the usability of the rockfall sensor for future/further applications in the field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't