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Proceedings Paper

Remote wireless damage detection system for monitoring the health of large civil structures
Author(s): Philip A. Lovell; Darryll J. Pines
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Paper Abstract

Recent advances in smart materials and structures sensor technology offer many unique opportunities to assess the structural integrity of large civil structures. However, the remote operational environment of large civil structures such as highways, buildings, and bridges, makes condition- based health monitoring for damage assessment difficult in the event of a natural disaster. During such disasters, electrical power is lost and cellular phone lines are under heavy usage. This limits the retrieval of very important sensor data. However, recent rulings by the Federal Communication Commission coupled with advances in wireless communication products has now made it possible to circumvent existing wired and cellular infrastructure to retrieve data from smart sensors remotely and more economically. This paper discusses a novel approach using smart sensors and wireless communication technology to monitor the health of large civil structures remotely. Specifically, a remote health monitoring system for large civil structures is developed using spread spectrum wireless modems, data communication software and conventional strain sensors. This system is used to monitor the loads on a laboratory test specimen with a bolted lap joint from as far away as one mile. Commands are issued from a notebook personal computer to instruct the health monitoring system to either excite the structure or acquire data from sensors mounted externally to the structure. Data from measurements made on the structure are then transmitted wirelessly back to a notebook computer for processing and analysis. The state of damage in the structure is assessed using modal system identification and damage detection algorithms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 1997
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3043, Smart Structures and Materials 1997: Smart Systems for Bridges, Structures, and Highways, (23 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.274643
Show Author Affiliations
Philip A. Lovell, Univ. of Maryland/College Park (United States)
Darryll J. Pines, Univ. of Maryland/College Park (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3043:
Smart Structures and Materials 1997: Smart Systems for Bridges, Structures, and Highways
Norris Stubbs, Editor(s)

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