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ASL Intranet

Use of large sensor arrays for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM)

Contact : André Preumont

This project is concerned with predictive maintenance and lifetime extension of structures; the problem has a significant economical interest due to the large number of civil engineering structures and their aging. The problem is : to be able to detect, locate and assess the extent of damage in a structure so that its remaining life can be known and possibly extended.

Although many researchers have been working on the subject for quite a few years, there are still problems that have not found satisfactory solutions. A major one is the fact that environmental changes (temperature, humidity) are responsible for changes in features of interest of the same order of magnitude (or more) as the damage itself, making it very difficult to determine whether the structure is damaged or not.

On the other hand, it is important to point out that experimental equipments evolve very rapidly and allow one to envision the use of large networks of wireless sensors for health monitoring in a not too distant future. These technological advances might be the key to successful vibration-based automated damage detection techniques if intelligent methods are produced in order to take advantage of the enormous amount of information provided by these large networks.

The objective of this project is to combine the most recent developments in sensor and actuator technology, networks, signal processing and computer techniques to explore new avenues in vibration based SHM. The following issues are of particular interest :

  • Using smart sensing/actuating technologies for SHM
  • Extracting features relevant to damage and immune to variability
  • Designing robust methods for autonomous SHM systems