Vibration Monitoring at the Natural History Museum

Vibration Monitoring at the Natural History Museum

Earlier this year, Caption Data was commissioned to install vibration monitoring equipment at the Natural History Museum.

Since April 2015, a team of conservator’s at the Natural History Museum have been using a remote vibration monitoring system made by Caption Data, to monitor vibration levels surrounding Cranbourne-1, the largest meteorite in the Museum’s collection, while heavy-duty work has been completed in close proximity to the meteorite.

Callum Davies and a senior conservator at the Natural history Museum
Our Marketing Coordinator, Callum Davies was privileged to meet a senior conservator and oversee the installation of the RDL//Vibe at the Natural History Museum.

Conservators were concerned that the de-installation of the former Earth Today and Tomorrow gallery could affect the meteorite due to vibration so decided to undertake monitoring.

The meteorite which is mostly made up of metallic iron, weighs 3.5 tonnes and is believed to have been formed 4.6 billion years ago (Making it older than Earth itself). Because of the weight of the meteorite, it has only been moved once since the nineteenth century, in a delicate operation that involved ten specialist workers, over 5 hours, a crane and millimeter accuracy as the meteorite was maneuvered through windows of the Grade I listed Waterhouse building.

The meteorite continually oxidises in the air due to its composition which causes spalling and loss. The loss is exacerbated by vibration. The meteorite is housed in a specially designed case that is connected to a nitrogen generator. The nitrogen is pumped into the case to displace the oxygen; the low oxygen environment reduces the rate of decay.

Once the project is complete, the team involved plans to use the remote vibration monitoring system again but this time to monitor vibration levels surrounding one of the Museum’s newest attractions, the world’s most complete Stegosaurus.

the world’s most complete Stegosaurus
the world’s most complete Stegosaurus, the next precious artifact soon to be monitored by the RDL//Vibe

The Stegosaurus is famous for the huge plates cresting its back and the four spear-like horns on the end of its tail. It measures roughly 5.6 metres long and 2.9 metres tall was a young adult when she died 150m years ago.

About the Nano ULTRA-Vibe

The Nano ULTRA-Vibe was designed for use on construction sites and while many of these systems can be found monitoring ground vibrations arising from construction activities such as demolition, piling, excavation, and blasting, applications like the one at the Natural History Museum are not uncommon.

In 2014, the RDL//Vibe was used by Plymouth University’s School of Marine Science and Engineering to monitor vibration levels at Eddystone Lighthouse, the most iconic lighthouse in the British Isles. Remote vibration monitoring at the lighthouse allowed a research team to complete unprecedented research which has since been completed at further lighthouses.

Nano ULTRA-Vibe

Measures: PPV, Acceleration, Velocity, and Displacement
Battery life: Up to 1 year*
Wireless communication: Onboard modem with roaming sim
Applications include: Construction, demolition and piling sites, sensitive properties and structures, basement extensions, remote or hard to reach locations

View the RDL//Vibe Product Page for more information.

Tell us about your project

Do you have a special project where you would like to monitor the vibration levels surrounding? The Nano ULTRA-Vibe might be for you. Leave your details below and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you may contact us here.

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