Long-term monitoring using GNSS: Lessons learned and experiences from 20 years of operation

Caroline Schönberger*, Werner Lienhart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) like GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and Beidou are used for monitoring of civil structures and natural phenomena since the 1980s. However, most of the implementations were either short term or realized in a very controlled environment. In this article we report about the experiences of more than 20 years of GNSS based monitoring of a large-scale object. In 1999 the GNSS monitoring system was developed and installed at a deep-seated gravitational mass movement in Austria and it is still operating. The system gradually evolved during the years of operation to maintain a reliable operation and to take new developments of information and communication technology (ICT) into account. This included the change from radio communication to UTMS and continuous maintenance of the hardware (revision of GNSS stations, revision of solar collectors, exchange of batteries) as well as software maintenance (Firmware updates of GNSS receivers, software updates, change to new operating systems). Especially the constant changes in the used software system results in maintenance time, which is often underestimated. From these experiences we derive lessons learned which can be a guideline for other long-term GNSS based monitoring systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCivil Structural Health Monitoring - Proceedings of CSHM-8 Workshop
EditorsCarlo Rainieri, Giovanni Fabbrocino, Nicola Caterino, Francesca Ceroni, Matilde A. Notarangelo
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-74258-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-74257-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event8th Workshop on Civil Structural Health Monitoring: Ageing Structures and Infrastructures in Hazardous Environment - online, Virtual, Online
Duration: 31 Mar 20212 Apr 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


Conference8th Workshop on Civil Structural Health Monitoring
Abbreviated titleCSHM-8
CityVirtual, Online
OtherAgeing structures and infrastructures in hazardous environment


  • Early warning system
  • GNSS monitoring system
  • ICT
  • Landslides
  • Long-term monitoring
  • Mass movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing


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