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Bethesda, MD, United States

Resensys | Date: 2014-02-14

Electric or electronic sensors for monitoring structures, buildings and persons.; Electric sensors; Electronic data relays for sensors; Sensors for measuring strain, stress, fatigue, vibration, acceleration, position, displacement, crack, humidity, moisture, temperature, pressure, liquid level, flow, deformation, corrosion, proximity, occupancy, light intensity, noise level, gas level, Carbon Monoxide level, noise level, cavitation, not for medical use.

A device is provided for monitoring strain and acoustic emission in an object. The device includes: a strain measurement portion operable to measure strain; an adhesive layer disposed on the strain measurement portion; and a peel-off mask disposed on the adhesive layer. In an example embodiment, the strain measurement portion includes a body, a transparent window portion, a strain measurement device and a signal processing portion. The body includes an attachment surface, wherein the adhesive layer is disposed on the attachment surface for attachment of the body to the object. The transparent window portion is arranged to enable viewing of a portion of the object through the body. The strain measurement device is disposed within the transparent window portion and is operable to generate a strain signal based on strain in the object. The signal processing portion is operable to generate a processed signal based on the strain signal.

Resensys | Entity website

SenScope software is capable of data visualization, processing, and alert generation

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 736.33K | Year: 2010

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project addresses the deteriorating situation with respect to our nation?s infrastructure system, particularly bridges. A solution is critically needed to monitor the structural integrity of such systems in order to identify potential failures ? such as the Minneapolis I-35W Bridge collapse ? before they occur. Existing solutions for structural state sensing are expensive, labor intensive, non-scalable, and unreliable. Phase I demonstrated the feasibility of an innovative, cost-effective, non-intrusive, and scalable structural monitoring technology known as Active RF Test (ART). The investigators developed a prototype of a thin, mechanically flexible, patch-like wireless sensor that can be easily attached to distributed points of a structure. ART sensors are batteryless, with their energy supplied through an in-network RF energy radiation mechanism. Based on the Phase I success, Phase II will (1) optimize the architecture and enhance the capabilities of the ART sensors; (2) develop cost effective processes for high-volume production of the sensors; (3) develop analytical tools that generate a map of installation locations for ART sensors on a structure; (4) develop detection/diagnostics models based on the sensors; and (5) conduct a field evaluation of the ART system on two highway bridges.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is protecting the US infrastructure against aging, structural malfunction, and failures. Aging infrastructure poses a significant societal challenge: recent reports indicate that the US transportation infrastructure has 601,027 bridges, of which 71,419 are structurally deficient. Unique features of the proposed ART technology ? such as easy installation, low cost, scalability, energy self sufficiency, and durability ? make it an ideal response to this challenge. The attachment of ART patch sensors will be non-intrusive to a structure, the installation effort will be minimal, and no drilling will be required. The mechanical flexibility of the ART patch sensors will allow adaption to complex geometries, including bearing plates, gusset plates, joints, support cables, and truss systems on a bridge. Finally, ART technology features a multipurpose solution that can be tailored to structural integrity monitoring needs of different types of structures, including bridges, pipelines, dams, airframes, and offshore platforms. The 71, 419 structurally deficient US bridges alone represent a commercial market of $2.8 billion. The potential to address other structures, along with the potential for international sales, would enhance the opportunity.

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.90K | Year: 2015

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be the introduction of a new generation of low-power wireless sensors for detecting Acoustic Emission events and crack formation in structures. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the US transportation infrastructure has 605,102 operational bridges, of which 66,561 are structurally deficient. The FHWA report also indicates that more than 93% of deficient bridges are more than 30 years old. Many other infrastructure systems such as energy pipelines also suffer from aging. The unique features of the proposed technique, which utilizes a Kaiser Trigger, are its low-cost and ultra-low energy consumption. Thus, its use in low-power wireless sensors make it an ideal solution to this challenging problem. The anticipated benefits and commercial applications of this project are (1) a low-cost and easy-to-use mechanism for effective monitoring, early detection, and timely repair of structural issues on infrastructure systems such as highway bridges; (2) improved public safety, reduced maintenance costs, and extended service life of critical and high-valued infrastructure systems; and (3) commercial applications in monitoring the structural health and integrity of other structures, including airframes, pipelines, cargo cranes, ships, etc. This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project addresses distributed structural health monitoring (SHM) of infrastructure systems, particularly highway bridges, airplanes, and pipelines. Because the creation of a crack in a structure is accompanied by the propagation of high frequency acoustic emission (AE) waves, wireless AE sensors can be used to detect such cracks. However, one of the main challenges for AE detection sensors involves the AE amplifier, which typically consumes significantly more energy than the amount available in a wireless device with limited energy. As a result, conventional AE detection methods cannot be used with low-power wireless sensors. This project proposes a novel technique, the Kaiser Trigger, which will consume several orders-of-magnitude less energy than conventional AE detection systems. After fabrication and successful testing, the Kaiser Trigger will be integrated into structural health monitoring sensors. The wireless sensors equipped with the Kaiser Trigger and AE detection capability will be a powerful, yet low-cost solution for monitoring infrastructure systems.

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