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22 June 2000 Active sensors for health monitoring of aging aerospace structures
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A project to develop non-intrusive active sensors that can be applied on existing aging aerospace structures for monitoring the onset and progress of structural damage (fatigue cracks and corrosion) is presented. The state of the art in active sensors structural health monitoring and damage detection is reviewed. Methods based on (a) elastic wave propagation and (b) electro-mechanical (E/M) impedance technique are cited and briefly discussed. The instrumentation of these specimens with piezoelectric active sensors is illustrated. The main detection strategies (E/M impedance for local area detection and wave propagation for wide area interrogation) are discussed. The signal processing and damage interpretation algorithms are tuned to the specific structural interrogation method used. In the high frequency E/M impedance approach, pattern recognition methods are used to compare impedance signatures taken at various time intervals and to identify damage presence and progression from the change in these signatures. In the wave propagation approach, the acousto- ultrasonic methods identifying additional reflection generated from the damage site and changes in transmission velocity and phase are used. Both approaches benefit from the use of artificial intelligence neural networks algorithms that can extract damage features based on a learning process. Design and fabrication of a set of structural specimens representative of aging aerospace structures is presented. Three built-up specimens, (pristine, with cracks, and with corrosion damage) are used. The specimen instrumentation with active sensors fabricated at the University of South Carolina is illustrated. Preliminary results obtained with the E/M impedance method on pristine and cracked specimens are presented.
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Victor Giurgiutiu, James M. Redmond, Dennis P. Roach, and Kirk Rackow "Active sensors for health monitoring of aging aerospace structures", Proc. SPIE 3985, Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (22 June 2000);

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