Low-Power Active Wireless Sensor Node for Structural Health Monitoring

Lecture: Low-Power Active Wireless Sensor Node for Structural Health Monitoring
Lecturer: Prof. Dong S. Ha,
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Date & time: April 19, 2011, 18.00-20.00 – Tuesday (!!)
Venue: Room MK103, Faculty of Information Technology, CTU, Kolejní 550/2, Prague 6
Language: English

Abstract of the Lecture:

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is the science and technology of monitoring and assessing the condition of aerospace, civil, and mechanical infrastructures using a sensing system integrated into the structure. SHM is capable of detecting, locating, and quantifying various types of damage such as cracks, holes, corrosion, collusions, delimitations, and loose joints, and can be applied to various kinds of infrastructures such as buildings, railroads, windmills, bridges, and aircrafts.

A variety of approaches for SHM have been proposed and investigated. The impedance method based on piezoelectric wafers, such as PZT (Lead Zirconate Titanate) is proven to be effective for in situ local damage detection. In spite of its effectiveness, the PZT based SHM approach still has not been deployed in large-scale applications. Major roadblocks for field deployment include high hardware complexity and high installation cost. High hardware complexity incurs high power consumption, a large form factor, and high cost. Among them, power consumption is especially problematic for many SHM applications, where line power is unavailable (such as a blade of a windmill) or laying out cables is undesirable (such as wings of an airplane). Even if line power is available (such as a bridge with street lights), drawing a cable to a sensor node is costly.

We present a low-power wireless autonomous and active SHM node called Autonomous SHM Sensor 2 (ASN-2). ASN-2 is implemented using a TI MSP430 microcontroller evaluation board. A cluster of ASN-2 nodes forms a wireless network. Each node wakes up at a predetermined interval, such as once in four hours, performs an SHM operation, reports the result to the central node wirelessly, and returns to sleep. The power consumption of our ASN-2 is 0.15 mW during the inactive mode and 18 mW during the active mode. Each SHM operation takes about 13 seconds to consume 236 mJ. When our ASN-2 operates once in every four hours, it is estimated to run for about 2.5 years with two AAA-size batteries ignoring the internal battery leakage. We also present a few other SHM sensor nodes developed by our team.

Short CV of Dong S. Ha :

Dong S. Ha received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Seoul National University, Korea, in 1974, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Iowa, in 1984 and 1986, respectively. Since Fall 1986, he has been a faculty member of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech. Currently, he is Professor and Founding Director of Center for Embedded Systems for Critical Applications (CESCA). His group specializes in low-power circuit design for digital, analog/mixed-signal, and RF ICs targeting for embedded system applications. His research interests include power conditioning circuits for energy harvesting, structural health monitoring systems and processors, power line communications at ICs, and wireless body area networks. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.

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Last modified: 23.11.2011, 13:43