A distributed sensor is created to sense the rate of change in deflection of beam-like structures such as crane booms. This sensor will be useful in electrohydraulic compensation of boom deflections. The sensor is made of an array of strain-sensitive segments such as strain gages or piezoelectric film. In this example, segments of piezoelectric film convert strains on the surface of a vibrating beam into electrical outputs. These outputs are connected to low impedance signal conditioners. The output of the signal conditioners are then interpolated with a weighting vector that incorporates Lagrange polynomials, specified boundary conditions, and the desired location(s) of measurement. A simple linear combiner circuit combines the electrical outputs into the deflection velocity at the desired points.