Abstract

There are a small number of commercially available sensors to measure rotational motion in the frequency and amplitude ranges appropriate for earthquake motions on the ground and in structures. However, the performance of these rotational seismometers has not been rigorously and independently tested and characterized for earthquake monitoring purposes as is done for translational strong- and weak-motion seismometers. Quantities such as sensitivity, frequency response, resolution, and linearity are needed for the understanding of recorded rotational data. To address this need, we, with assistance from colleagues in the United States and Taiwan, have been developing performance test methodologies and equipment for rotational seismometers. In this article the performance testing methodologies are applied to samples of a commonly used commercial rotational seismometer, the eentec model R-1. Several examples were obtained for various test sequences in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Performance testing of these sensors consisted of measuring: (1) sensitivity and frequency response; (2) clip level; (3) self noise and resolution; and (4) cross-axis sensitivity, both rotational and translational. These sensor-specific results will assist in understanding the performance envelope of the R-1 rotational seismometer, and the test methodologies can be applied to other rotational seismometers.

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