A quantitative basis for key strong-motion instrumentation specifications is established by analyzing signal distortions and errors associated with data acquisition processes and then performing sensitivity analyses with respect to important parameters. The digital acquisition of 30 digitally enhanced earthquake histories is simulated to gain insight into how specific sources of error, namely clock jitter, randomness in initial sampling instant, and differential nonlinearity, accumulate and influence overall data quality. Sensitivity analyses with respect to several measures of shaking-strength (an engineer’s intensity measure) such as instrumental intensity, peak ground acceleration, peak ground velocity, and peak response spectral pseudoaccelerations are performed. Results from these studies are used to assess potential updates to current strong-motion instrumentation specifications of major strong-motion instrumentation programs. The simulations and analyses detailed here are also groundwork for future sensitivity studies of structural response parameters of peak floor acceleration and peak interstory drift.

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