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A low-cost, low-data-rate rapid structural assessment network: Design, implementation, and experimentation

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5 Author(s)
Jren-Chit Chin ; Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN ; Rautenberg, J.M. ; Ma, C.Y.T. ; Pujol, S.
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We present the design, implementation, and experimental evaluation of a wireless sensor network for near real-time structural health monitoring. We use simple custom-built gages to unequivocally detect cracks in critical structural elements. The main data reports have a low data rate and are naturally resilient to loss. We show how a variety of low-cost, off-the-shelf data acquisition/communication devices can be used to support remote monitoring by a control center. The heterogeneous hardware is accommodated by the use of open technology standards, and a software architecture that is portable, modular, and highly configurable. We present an experimental evaluation of our structural assessment network, using a full-scale three-story reinforced concrete building, subjected to lateral forces emulating forces induced by earthquakes. Our results show that a set of 12 strategically positioned sensors on the three floors achieved a zero false-alarm rate, in the sense that each reported breakage can be traced to cracks exceeding the specified total width, and a 100% detection rate for cracks that are covered by a sensor.

Published in:

Mobile Ad Hoc and Sensor Systems, 2008. MASS 2008. 5th IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

Sept. 29 2008-Oct. 2 2008