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Proceedings Paper

Development of a portable electrical impedance tomography data acquisition system for near-real-time spatial sensing
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Paper Abstract

The main goal of this study was to develop and validate the performance of a miniature and portable data acquisition (DAQ) system designed for interrogating carbon nanotube (CNT)-based thin films for real-time spatial structural sensing and damage detection. Previous research demonstrated that the electrical properties of CNT-based thin film strain sensors were linearly correlated with applied strains. When coupled with an electrical impedance tomography (EIT) algorithm, the detection and localization of damage was possible. In short, EIT required that the film or “sensing skin” be interrogated along its boundaries. Electrical current was injected across a pair of boundary electrodes, and voltage was simultaneously recorded along the remaining electrode pairs. This was performed multiple times to obtain a large dataset needed for solving the EIT spatial conductivity mapping inverse problem. However, one of the main limitations of this technique was the large amount of time required for data acquisition. In order to facilitate the adoption of this technology and for field implementation purposes, a miniature DAQ that could interrogate these CNT-based sensing skins at high sampling rates was designed and tested. The prototype DAQ featured a Howland current source that could generate stable and controlled direct current. Measurement of boundary electrode voltages and the switching of the input, output, and measurement channels were achieved using multiplexer units. The DAQ prototype was fabricated on a two-layer printed circuit board, and it was designed for integration with a prototype wireless sensing system, which is the next phase of this research.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 2015
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9435, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2015, 94350E (3 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2083946
Show Author Affiliations
Shieh-Kung Huang, National Taiwan Univ. (Taiwan)
Kenneth J. Loh, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9435:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2015
Jerome P. Lynch, Editor(s)

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