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We introduce the concept of using an RFID tag's antenna to sense surface cracks. Our contribution is two fold. First, we present the design of an inductively coupled loop antenna that can be used as a crack detector. Second, we propose the development of a 2-D grid of tags to improve spatial coverage and discuss how it can be used to monitor typical crack patterns in civil infrastructure. We demonstrate that the technique works reliably over a read distance of 1 m and in different types of environments. Potential engineering extensions and future research directions are also discussed.
Date of Publication: May 2013