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Proceedings Paper

High-sensitivity electrical TDR distributed strain sensor
Author(s): Mark W. Lin; Ayo O. Abatan; Yongmei Zhou
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Paper Abstract

Electrical time domain reflectometry (ETDR) distributed strain sensing technique has been successfully used in the health monitoring application of civil concrete structures to detect crack damages and in geotechnical application to monitor rock deformation and longwall movement. Although promising results of using commercial ETDR coaxial sensing cables have been shown in recent studies, the low signal-to-noise ratio of the sensors is a research issue needs to be addressed. Since all the commercial coaxial cables are specifically designed for the transmission of electrical signals, the cable configuration is to sustain a virtually constant electrical property under environmental loading effects. For structural strain sensing application, on the other hand, the electrical impedance of the sensor is required to proportionally vary with respect to externally applied loading. Thus, the commercial coaxial cables are indeed not in an optimal configuration for strain sensing application. In this paper, a newly developed high-sensitivity ETDR coaxial strain sensor prototype is presented. The construction of the prototype sensing cable as well as its electrical properties will be described in details. Experimental characterization of the high-sensitivity prototype coaxial sensor was also conducted. Test results of the sensitivity and tension responses of the ETDR signal of the prototype sensor are presented and compared with those of commercial coaxial cables. It is shown that the prototype sensor has a much superior sensitivity and properties for distributed strain sensing application.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 June 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3986, Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Sensory Phenomena and Measurement Instrumentation for Smart Structures and Materials, (12 June 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.388137
Show Author Affiliations
Mark W. Lin, Clark Atlanta Univ. (United States)
Ayo O. Abatan, Clark Atlanta Univ. (United States)
Yongmei Zhou, Clark Atlanta Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3986:
Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Sensory Phenomena and Measurement Instrumentation for Smart Structures and Materials
Richard O. Claus; William B. Spillman Jr., Editor(s)

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