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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 11, Number 5, May 2013 , pages 477-496

Develoment of high-sensitivity wireless strain sensor for structural health monitoring
Hongki Jo, Jong-Woong Park, B.F. Spencer, Jr. and Hyung-Jo Jung

    Due to their cost-effectiveness and ease of installation, wireless smart sensors (WSS) have received considerable recent attention for structural health monitoring of civil infrastructure. Though various wireless smart sensor networks (WSSN) have been successfully implemented for full-scale structural health monitoring (SHM) applications, monitoring of low-level ambient strain still remains a challenging problem for WSS due to A/D converter (ADC) resolution, inherent circuit noise, and the need for automatic operation. In this paper, the design and validation of high-precision strain sensor board for the Imote2 WSS platform and its application to SHM of a cable-stayed bridge are presented. By accurate and automated balancing of the Wheatstone bridge, signal amplification of up to 2507-times can be obtained, while keeping signal mean close to the center of the ADC span, which allows utilization of the full span of the ADC. For better applicability to SHM for real-world structures, temperature compensation and shunt calibration are also implemented. Moreover, the sensor board has been designed to accommodate a friction-type magnet strain sensor, in addition to traditional foil-type strain gages, facilitating fast and easy deployment. The wireless strain sensor board performance is verified through both laboratory-scale tests and deployment on a full-scale cable-stayed bridge.
Key Words
    structural health monitoring; wireless smart sensor; high-sensitivity strain sensor; full-scale deployment
Hongki Jo and B.F. Spencer : Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UIUC, Urbana 61800, USA
Jong-Woong Park and Hyung-Jo Jung : 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, KAIST, Daejeon 305-701, Korea

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