Novel embedded diagnostics wireless structural monitoring systems

  • PI: Anne Kiremidjian
  • Co-PI: Ram Rajagopal
  • Sponsored by: NSF-NEESR

Project summary

Structural health monitoring has been the intense focus of research in structural engineering with significant advances made over the past decade in the development of wireless monitoring sensing systems. When empowered with data interrogation algorithms, such systems can provide critical damage assessment information to first responders immediately after an extreme event and can greatly facilitate the recovery process.

This research investigates a new methodology for post-event structural damage assessment, using wireless sensors, through the following tasks:

  1. Design a novel direct residual displacement sensing unit
  2. Develop new and identify existing damage algorithms suitable for embedding in sensing nodes
  3. Embed the damage detection algorithms on the microprocessor of the sensing nodes
  4. Calibrate the algorithms with available data from previous laboratory or numerical experiments
  5. Verify their predictive capabilities though three payload experiments on projects using the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) facilities and Japan's E-Defense shake table.

The payload experiments will use the multi-story reinforced concrete frame to be tested at the E-Defense shake table facility in Miki, Japan, the full scale unibody light wood-frame structure test to be conducted at the NEES shake table facility at the University of California, San Diego, and the unbounded post-tensioned rocking wall test to be conducted at the NEES shake table facility at the University of Nevada, Reno. Each of these three types of structural systems has unique characteristics with their specific challenges. 

A new advanced method for direct measurement of residual displacement, with confirmation of such measurements through the payload experiments, can represent a major breakthrough in the ability to monitor and assess structural performance after a major event in near real time, thus providing critical information to first responders and owners in a timely manner. Demonstration of embedding of complex damage detection algorithms and verification of the functionality of these algorithms through the three payload experiments will greatly enhance the ability to deploy wireless sensors more effectively in the field. This award is part of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP).