The ability to monitor structures such as bridges, storage tanks, pipelines, and buildings is critical to managing safety, reliability, and the overall integrity of existing and future military and civil infrastructure. In order to reduce the costs of inspection and schedule based maintenance, while also improving structural reliability, a multi-mode distributed sensor network is being developed that provides a comprehensive view of structural health.
Luna has developed an ultra-low power wireless sensor network for advanced, in situ structural health monitoring (SHM). This network is made up of devices capable of operating off of harvested energy sources (solar, vibration, thermal, etc.), measures both environmental and mechanical parameters, and supports advanced diagnostics and prognostics for predicting structural health and remaining useful life.
Existing Luna technologies have been leveraged and enhanced to rapidly achieve the technical goals related to this system and to accelerate commercialization of the technology.
- Light Weight – Only 5.8 oz.
- Wireless – Zigbee Protocol
- Small Size – 1.5x4x2.5”
- Compatible – IEEE-1451 compliant
- Multi-Modal – Mechanical, environmental, and corrosion sensitive
- Low Power – Battery or Energy Harvester Compatible
- Accessible – Utilizes satellite uplink for remote data access
The In Situ Structural Health Monitoring Network is a system capable of measuring environmental, mechanical, and corrosivity parameters for evaluation of existing structures. A Smart Transducer Interface Module containing multiple transducers is mounted on structures subject to corrosion and mechanical loading. The set of sensors uses ultra-low power electronics and efficient power management techniques to allow for extended battery operations or energy harvesting. Wireless communications between nodes allows for data consolidation and evaluation on-structure, with remote data access provided by satellite uplink.
By enabling the transition towards condition based maintenance activities Luna can support customer goals to increase structural reliability, increase safety for military personnel and the general public, and reduce operating costs of State and Federal Departments of Transportation.
Multi-Modal In Situ Structural Health Monitoring System
There is currently no system available that provides the complete multi-modal solution that is achieved with Luna’s structural health monitoring platform. While other sensing systems monitor physical, environmental, and in some cases corrosion separately, the inclusion of all of these parameters in a single low-power, wireless sensing system reduces installation and operating costs, while maximizing health assessment and maintenance efficiency, and ensuring safety of the military, civil, and commercial users of the structure. Luna’s system provides a flexible, customizable health monitoring platform that integrates the existing knowledge of the mechanical response of structures with the critical, though often elusive, effects of environment and corrosion. Ultimately, the system is broadly applicable to any existing and new structure, and can provide a clear indication of current and future states of health, enabling an increased use and reliance on condition based maintenance in managing military and civil structures.
This material is based upon work supported by the United States Army under Contract No W9132T-11-C-0012. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Army.