Wireless sensor network for structural monitoring: a laboratory trial

There is a growing awareness internationally of the importance of Civil Infrastructure to society. In particular the need to manage infrastructure effectively and maximise its service life is becoming increasingly important. Several approaches for Structural Health Monitoring of infrastructure have been put forward and ma ny of these require sensor data as an input. However, very little existing infrastructure is instrumented, so in the short to medium term much of the required data (if it is to be collect ed) will likely have to be collected via discreet short term measuring campaigns. This kind of approach requires sensors that are quick/easy to deploy. Therefore this paper looks at the possibility of using wire less sensors originally developed for bio-mechanical applications for structural monitoring. The motivation for using these particular wireless sensors is that they are available off the shelf, and their on board data storage makes them easy to use/deploy on site. The wireless sensors are trialled by using data from them to determine frequencies and mode shapes of a 7.5m x 5m test floor structure in the laboratory. The results from the wireless sensors are compared against those from a conventional wired system. For the structure tested the wireless sensors performed very well. The frequencies and mode shapes calculated from the wireless sensor data were the same as those calculated from the wired system.

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