Wireless Sensors for Structural Health Monitoring

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) applications in the aeronautical field have gained significant attention. This starts from determining the potentials SHM might provide by analysing maintenance processes and determining structural components along the maintenance process’ critical path where the SHM implementation might significantly help to speed up the maintenance process over the lifecycle without compromising safety and reliability issues. Different SHM technologies considered in that regard are currently under development, mostly based on mechanical and acoustic vibration analysis respectively. Those SHM systems are configured to operate as a network and this even on a wireless basis. Transferring SHM into practical application will allow aeronautical structures to be used more efficiently with regard to structure’s weight, maintenance and cost. Aircraft manufacturers as well as airlines are gaining significant importance as future customers of SHM technology in that regard. A major requirement of those SHM users will be a guaranteed reliability of the SHM system over its life cycle. The Fraunhofer Institute IZFP has therefore devoted a major portion of its SHM research work into studying and understanding those reliability issues along tests performed in extreme climatic conditions and in long term. Along the leading edge technology project »CoolSensornet« initiated and led by IZFP and based within the leading edge technology cluster named »Cool Silicon« [1], Fraunhofer IZFP and IKTS jointly develop energy autonomous and wireless sensor systems together with IMA GmbH Dresden, Technische Universität Dresden, ZMDi AG and RHe Microsystems GmbH. Those sensor systems are due to be used for monitoring large sized aircraft structures and wind power rotor blades long term. First results of the project revealed that with wireless acoustical lamb wave based sensors it is possible to detect damages after impact in CFRP (cabon fiber reinforced plastics) materials.

1] F. Ellingerr, T. Mikolajik2, G. Fettweis1, D. Hentschel3, S. Kolodinski4, H. Warnecke5, T. Reppe6, C. Tzschoppe1, J. Dohl1, C. Carta1, D. Fritsche1, M. Wiatr4, S.-D. Kronholz4, R.P. Mikalo4, H. Heinrich5, R. Paulo1, R. Wolf1, J. Hübner7, J. Waltsgott1, K. Meißner1, R. Richter1, M. Bausinger8, H. Mehlich9, M. Hahmann1, H. Möller10, M. Wiemer3, H.-J. Holland3, R. Gärtner11, S. Schubert12, A. Richter1, A. Strobel1, A. Fehske1, S. Cech1, U. Aßmann1 1TU Dresden, 2Namlab, 3Fraunhofer, 4Globalfoundries, 5Infineon, 6SiSax, 7Radioopt, 8Plastic Logic, 9Roth&Rau, 10nxp, 11xfab, 12PE : Cool Silicon ICT Energy Efficiency Enhancements, to be published in IEEE SCDG 2012 [2] Dondi, D., Di Pompeo, A., Tenti, C., Rosing, T.S., “Shimmer: A wireless harvesting embedded system for active ultrasonic Structural Health Monitoring”, IEEE SENSORS 2010 Conference, November 1-4, pp. 2325 – 2328 (2010) [3] Dürager, C., Heinzelmann, A., Riederer, D., “Wireless Sensor Network for Guided Wave Propagation with Piezoelectric Transducers”, Proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, Stanford University, Stanford, CA September 13 – 15, pp. 2028 – 2034 (2011) [4] Lieske, U., Dietrich, A., Schubert, L., Frankenstein, B., “Wireless system for structural health monitoring based on Lamb waves”, SPIE Smart Structures/NDE 2012, March 11 – 15, (2012)
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