Effective health monitoring and distributed control of advanced structures depends on accurate measurements of dynamic responses of elastic structures. Conventional sensors used for structural measurement are usually add-on “discrete” devices. Lightweight distributed thin-film piezoelectric neurons fully integrated (laminated or embedded) with structural components can serve as in-situ sensors monitoring structure’s dynamic state and health status. This study is to investigate modal voltages and detailed signal contributions of linear or nonlinear paraboloidal shells of revolution laminated with piezoelectric neurons. Signal generation of distributed neuron sensors laminated on paraboloidal shells is defined first, based on the open-voltage assumption and Maxwell’s principle. The neuron signal of a linear paraboloidal shell is composed of a linear membrane component and a linear bending component; the signal of a nonlinear paraboloidal shell governed by the von Karman geometric nonlinearity is composed of nonlinear and linear membrane components and a linear bending component. Signal components and distributed modal voltages of linear and nonlinear paraboloidal shells with various curvatures and thickness are investigated.

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