Ultra Low-Power Wireless Sensor Node for Structural Health Monitoring

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Virginia Tech

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is the technology of monitoring and assessing the condition of aerospace, civil, and mechanical infrastructures using a sensing system integrated into the structure. Among variety of SHM approaches, impedance-based method is efficient for local damage detection. This thesis focuses on system level concerns for impedance-based SHM. Two essential requirements are reached in the thesis: reduction of power consumption of wireless SHM sensor, and compensation of temperature dependency on impedance. The proposed design minimizes power by employing on-board signal processing, and by eliminating power hungry components such as ADC and DAC. The prototype implemented with MSP430 micro controller is verified to be able to handle SHM operation and wireless communication with extremely low-power: 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 can run for about 2.5 years with two AAA-size batteries. To compensate for temperature change, we proposed an algorithm to select a small subset of baseline profiles for some critical temperatures and to estimate the baseline profile for a given ambient temperature through interpolation. Experimental results show that our method reduces the number of baseline profiles to be stored by 45%, and estimates the baseline profile of a given temperature accurately.

Structural Health Monitoring, wireless sensor, impedance-based mothed, low power, temperature compesation