A Novel Wireless Acoustic Emission Sensor Network for Structural Health Monitoring

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Intelligent Automation, Inc.
15400 Calhoun Dr, Suite 190
Rockville, MD 20855
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Structural health monitoring is very important to the prevention of catastrophic failures in the equipment and components of advanced power plants. Acoustic Emission (AE) techniques have proven to be an effective non-destructive-testing (NDT) method capable of continuously monitoring micro-structural changes that occur due to fatigue, stress corrosion, hydrogen embrittlement, and creep. However, conventional AE techniques suffer from a high cost of installation and the potential of damaging the equipment during the installation and wiring of the AE sensors. Additionally, the number of sensors is limited by the data acquisition channels and computational power of the AE equipment. Therefore, this project will develop a novel system, consisting of a scalable wireless AE sensor network, for the structural health monitoring (SHM) of advanced power plants. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The SHM system, which exploits wireless AE sensor nodes to create a sensor network, should have a significant impact on many applications in public safety, including diagnostics and prognostics of pressure vessels, chemical pipelines, and infrastructure such as bridges and buildings.