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17 May 2013 An autonomous structural health monitoring solution
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Proceedings Volume 8763, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VI; 876302 (2013)
Event: SPIE Microtechnologies, 2013, Grenoble, France
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.
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Carol A. Featherston, Karen M. Holford, Rhys Pullin, Jonathan Lees, Mark Eaton, and Matthew Pearson "An autonomous structural health monitoring solution", Proc. SPIE 8763, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VI, 876302 (17 May 2013);

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