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Trademark
Resensys | Date: 2014-02-14

Electric or electronic sensors for monitoring the structural integrity of buildings and other structures, and for detecting the presence of persons; Electric sensors; Electronic data relays for sensors; Sensors for monitoring the structural integrity of buildings, bridges and other structures by detecting structural strain, stress, fatigue, vibration, acceleration of moving elements, position, displacement, and structural cracks, humidity, moisture, temperature, pressure, liquid level, flow of liquids, deformation, corrosion, proximity, occupancy, light intensity, noise level, gas level, carbon monoxide level, and 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.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.70K | Year: 2009

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I research project addresses distributed structural integrity monitoring of infrastructure systems such as bridges and pipelines. The existing solutions for structural state sensing are expensive, labor intensive, non-scalable, and unreliable. The focus of this project is to determine the feasibility of an innovative, cost effective, non-intrusive, and scalable structural-state sensing technology known as Active RF Test (ART). The ART technology is based on the use of mechanically flexible patch-like wireless sensor devices that can be attached to distributed points of a structure. ART uses RF energy delivered from an in-network energy source to the sensors. Because the ART sensor patches will be battery-less, they will be durable and environment-friendly. The expected outcomes of this project are a novel battery-less power system for the ART patch sensors including a receive and rectifier antenna and a thin film super-capacitor as the energy storage medium, an energy-efficient wakeup scheduling scheme, in which the active duty cycles of the sensors are synchronized for correlated measurements, and a proof-of-concept prototype of a flexible ART patch sensor. According to the National Bridge Inventory database, the US transportation infrastructure has 589,540 bridges, of which 68,571 are structurally deficient. The report also indicates that more than 80% of deficient bridges are more than 30 years old. Other infrastructures such as energy pipelines also suffer from aging. There are more than 2.3 million miles of domestic oil and gas pipelines, of which 30% are more than 50 years old. As demonstrated by the Minnesota bridge collapse of 2007, aging infrastructures poses a significant societal challenge. The unique features of the proposed ART technology ? easy installation, low cost, scalability, energy self sufficiency, and durability ? make it an ideal response to this challenging problem. This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

Designing semi-autonomous networks of miniature robots for inspection of bridges and other large civil infrastructure

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the United States has 605102 bridges of which 64% are 30 years or older and 11% are structurally deficient. Visual inspection is a standard procedure to identify structural flaws and possibly predict the imminent collapse of a bridge and determine effective precautionary measures and repairs. Experts who carry out this difficult task must travel to the location of the bridge and spend many hours assessing the integrity of the structure.

The proposal is to establish (i) new design and performance analysis principles and (ii) technologies for creating a self-organizing network of small robots to aid visual inspection of bridges and other large civilian infrastructure. The main idea is to use such a network to aid the experts in remotely and routinely inspecting complex structures, such as the typical girder assemblage that supports the decks of a suspension bridge. The robots will use wireless information exchange to autonomously coordinate and cooperate in the inspection of pre-specified portions of a bridge. At the end of the task, or whenever possible, they will report images as well as other key measurements back to the experts for further evaluation.

Common systems to aid visual inspection rely either on stationary cameras with restricted field of view, or tethered ground vehicles. Unmanned aerial vehicles cannot access constricted spaces and must be tethered due to power requirements and the need for uninterrupted communication to support the continual safety critical supervision by one or more operators. In contrast, the system proposed here would be able to access tight spaces, operate under any weather, and execute tasks autonomously over long periods of time.

The fact that the proposed framework allows remote expert supervision will reduce cost and time between inspections. The added flexibility as well as the increased regularity and longevity of the deployments will improve the detection and diagnosis of problems, which will increase safety and support effective preventive maintenance.

This project will be carried out by a multidisciplinary team specialized in diverse areas of cyber-physical systems and robotics, such as locomotion, network science, modeling, control systems, hardware sensor design and optimization. It involves collaboration between faculty from the University of Maryland (UMD) and Resensys, which specializes in remote bridge monitoring. The proposed system will be tested in collaboration with the Maryland State Highway Administration, which will also provide feedback and expertise throughout the project.

This project includes concrete plans to involve undergraduate students throughout its duration. The investigators, who have an established record of STEM outreach and education, will also leverage on exiting programs and resources at the Maryland Robotics Center to support this initiative and carry out outreach activities. In order to make student participation more productive and educational, the structure of the proposed system conforms to a hardware architecture adopted at UMD and many other schools for the teaching of undergraduate courses relevant to cyber-physical systems and robotics.

This grant will support research on fundamental principles and design of robotic and cyber-physical systems. It will focus on algorithm design for control and coordination, network science, performance evaluation, microfabrication and system integration to address the following challenges: (i) Devise new locomotion and adhesion principles to support mobility within steel and concrete girder structures. (ii) Investigate the design of location estimators, omniscience and coordination algorithms that are provably optimal, subject to power and computational constraints. (iii) Methods to design and analyze the performance of energy-efficient communication protocols to support robot coordination and localization in the presence of the severe propagation barriers caused by metal and concrete structures of a bridge.


Grant
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.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 178.91K | 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.


Grant
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.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 499.03K | 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.


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