Sensing and control are essential to achieving the high performance and high precision of modern aerospace structures and systems. Typical off-the-shelf sensors placed at discrete locations usually add additional weights and thus often influence dynamic responses of precision systems. Unlike the conventional discrete add-on sensors, thin lightweight piezoelectric layers can be spatially spread and distributed over the surfaces of precision structures. The purpose of this study is to investigate microscopic neural signal generations from infinitesimal piezoelectric neurons over a cylindrical shell panel of various curvature angles and to determine dominating signal components resulting from longitudinal or circumferential membrane strains or longitudinal or circumferential bending strains. Dynamic equations of cylindrical shells are defined first, followed by free-vibration analysis. Then, mode shape functions and modal spatial strain distributions are used to determine the signal generation of distributed neuron sensors laminated on a linear cylindrical shell panel. The microscopic signal generations of infinitesimal piezoelectric sensors or neurons are investigated for three different curvature angles, i.e., β* = 30°, 90°, and 150°, of a simply-supported cylindrical shell panel. Evaluating these three cases suggests that as the curvature increases from 0° to 360°, the neural signals from the membrane strain dominate for lower natural modes before the neural signals from the bending strain become dominating as the mode increases.

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