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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 8, Number 1, July 2011 , pages 93-105

Antenna sensor skin for fatigue crack detection and monitoring
Srikar Deshmukh, Xiang Xu, Irshad Mohammad and Haiying Huang

    This paper presents a flexible low-profile antenna sensor for fatigue crack detection and monitoring. The sensor was inspired by the sense of pain in bio-systems as a protection mechanism. Because the antenna sensor does not need wiring for power supply or data transmission, it is an ideal candidate as sensing elements for the implementation of engineering sensor skins with a dense sensor distribution. Based on the principle of microstrip patch antenna, the antenna sensor is essentially an electromagnetic cavity that radiates at certain resonant frequencies. By implementing a metallic structure as the ground plane of the antenna sensor, crack development in the metallic structure due to fatigue loading can be detected from the resonant frequency shift of the antenna sensor. A monostatic microwave radar system was developed to interrogate the antenna sensor remotely. Fabrication and characterization of the antenna sensor for crack monitoring as well as the implementation of the remote interrogation system are presented.
Key Words
    sensor skin; antenna sensor; wireless sensor; passive sensor; sensor; microwave radar.
Srikar Deshmukh, Xiang Xu, Irshad Mohammad and Haiying Huang: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, USA

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