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Proceedings Paper

An autonomous structural health monitoring solution
Author(s): Carol A. Featherston; Karen M. Holford; Rhys Pullin; Jonathan Lees; Mark Eaton; Matthew Pearson
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Paper Abstract

Combining advanced sensor technologies, with optimised data acquisition and diagnostic and prognostic capability, structural health monitoring (SHM) systems provide real-time assessment of the integrity of bridges, buildings, aircraft, wind turbines, oil pipelines and ships, leading to improved safety and reliability and reduced inspection and maintenance costs. The implementation of power harvesting, using energy scavenged from ambient sources such as thermal gradients and sources of vibration in conjunction with wireless transmission enables truly autonomous systems, reducing the need for batteries and associated maintenance in often inaccessible locations, alongside bulky and expensive wiring looms. The design and implementation of such a system however presents numerous challenges. A suitable energy source or multiple sources capable of meeting the power requirements of the system, over the entire monitoring period, in a location close to the sensor must be identified. Efficient power management techniques must be used to condition the power and deliver it, as required, to enable appropriate measurements to be taken. Energy storage may be necessary, to match a continuously changing supply and demand for a range of different monitoring states including sleep, record and transmit. An appropriate monitoring technique, capable of detecting, locating and characterising damage and delivering reliable information, whilst minimising power consumption, must be selected. Finally a wireless protocol capable of transmitting the levels of information generated at the rate needed in the required operating environment must be chosen. This paper considers solutions to some of these challenges, and in particular examines SHM in the context of the aircraft environment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2013
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8763, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VI, 876302 (17 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2018401
Show Author Affiliations
Carol A. Featherston, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
Karen M. Holford, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
Rhys Pullin, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
Jonathan Lees, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
Mark Eaton, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
Matthew Pearson, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8763:
Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VI
Ulrich Schmid; José Luis Sánchez de Rojas Aldavero; Monika Leester-Schaedel, Editor(s)

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