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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 6, Number 5, July-August 2010, pages 641-659

Design, calibration and application of wireless sensors for structural global and local monitoring of civil infrastructures
Yan Yu, Jinping Ou and Hui Li

    Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) gradually becomes a technique for ensuring the health and safety of civil infrastructures and is also an important approach for the research of the damage accumulation and disaster evolving characteristics of civil infrastructures. It is attracting prodigious research interests and the active development interests of scientists and engineers because a great number of civil infrastructures are planned and built every year in mainland China. In a SHM system the sheer number of accompanying wires, fiber optic cables, and other physical transmission medium is usually prohibitive, particularly for such structures as offshore platforms and long-span structures. Fortunately, with recent advances in technologies in sensing, wireless communication, and micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS), wireless sensor technique has been developing rapidly and is being used gradually in the SHM of civil engineering structures. In this paper, some recent advances in the research, development, and implementation of wireless sensors for the SHM of civil infrastructures in mainland China, especially in Dalian University of Technology (DUT) and Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), are introduced. Firstly, a kind of wireless digital acceleration sensors for structural global monitoring is designed and validated in an offshore structure model. Secondly, wireless inclination sensor systems based on Frequency-hopping techniques are developed and applied successfully to swing monitoring of large-scale hook structures. Thirdly, wireless acquisition systems integrating with different sensing materials, such as Polyvinylidene Fluoride(PVDF), strain gauge, piezoresistive stress/strain sensors fabricated by using the nickel powder-filled cement-based composite, are proposed for structural local monitoring, and validating the characteristics of the above materials. Finally, solutions to the key problem of finite energy for wireless sensors networks are discussed, with future works also being introduced, for example, the wireless sensor networks powered by corrosion signal for corrosion monitoring and rapid diagnosis for large structures.
Key Words
    wireless sensor network; structural health monitoring; civil infrastructure; energy optimization; wireless digital acceleration sensor; wireless inclination sensor; MEMS; PVDF; cement-based sensor.
Yan Yu; School of Electronic Science and Technology, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian,116024, P.R. China
Jinping Ou; School of Civil and Hydraulic Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, No. 2 Linggong Rd., Dalian, 116024, P.R. China
Hui Li; School of Civil Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, P.R. China

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