Much research has gone into using wireless sensor networks to monitor structural health by sensing and measuring vibrations. One problem here is that structural vibrations can be affected by many factors, which can make it difficult to determine the contribution of structural condition to measured vibrations. The authors propose a robust solution to this difficulty that consists of a wireless sensor network that implements a highly efficient, fully distributed pattern matching algorithm. Here, the authors exploit correlation between sensed vibration signals at different locations on the structure under measurement to detect damage. Potential applications for the system are numerous. They include many infrastructure applications such as those involving railroad and pipeline monitoring. The general solution is described, including tradeoffs between accuracy and energy/memory consumption. It is shown that the accuracy of the approach grows gracefully at the expense of memory and energy consumption. In addition, a case study involving railroad applications is discussed. Simulations in the case study indicate that the distributed approach can reduce the consumed energy for transmitted data by 50% compared with a centralised architecture.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering