Structural health monitoring (SHM) is the process of implementing a damage identification strategy which can be utilized in several applications including aerospace, civil and mechanical engineering infrastructure. Damage is defined as changes to the material and/or geometric properties of these systems. These changes adversely affect the current or future performance of the system. In order to identify damage in a suitable and meaningful manner, the damaged state is compared with other usually undamaged states. This study focuses on a structural health monitoring (SHM) system based on detecting shifts in natural frequencies of the structure. This structural health monitoring system incorporates a low power wireless transmitter that sends a warning signal when damage is detected in a structure. The damage detection technique is implemented on composite structures which are widely used in many applications including aeronautical and aerospace. An automated damage detection system capable of providing information of damage locations based on the finite element analysis and able to compare damage events to other historical data is also proposed in this paper and initially implemented using a microcontroller chip. Moreover, a control methodology using piezoelectric fiber composites, such as active fiber composites (AFCs) and microfiber composites (MFCs), is included as part of the system for vibration suppression purposes. The advantages of using piezoelectric fiber composite actuators are their high performance, flexibility, and durability when compared with the traditional piezoceramic (PZT) actuators. The proposed system may be implemented in many structural components such as aircraft frames and bridges. This SHM technology may help replace the current time-based maintenance scheme with a condition-based one. The condition-based maintenance scheme relies on the ability to monitor the condition of the system and supply information of damage detection to allow a corrective action to be taken.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.