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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 1, Number 3, September 2005, pages 267-282

Ultrasonics and electromagnetics for a wireless corrosion sensing system embedded in structural concrete
K. Hietpas, B. Ervin, J. Banasiak, D. Pointer, D. A. Kuchma, H. Reis and J. T. Bernhard

    This work describes ongoing development of an embedded sensor system for the early detection and prevention of deterioration of reinforcing steel tendons within reinforced concrete. These devices will evaluate the condition of the steel tendon using ultrasonic techniques and then wirelessly transmit this data to the outside world without human intervention. The ultrasonic transducers and the interpretation of the sensed signals that allow detection and prognosis of tendon condition are detailed. Electrical characterization of concrete mixtures used in bridge construction is conducted and a wideband microstrip antenna is designed and fabricated to operate between 2.4 and 2.5 GHz when embedded in such a medium. Simulations and measurements of the embedded antenna element are presented. Transceiver selection and implementation are discussed as well as future work in operational protocols, sensor networking, and power sources. By implementing commercially available off-the-shelf components whenever possible, these devices have the potential to save millions of dollars a year in evaluation, repair and replacement of reinforced concrete.
Key Words
    ultrasonic guided waves; structural concrete; corrosion; embedded wireless sensors; embedded antenna.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

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