This paper considers the design of distributed parameter modal sensors called “smart sensors,” with a particular emphasis on filtering the combination of appropriately weighted vibration modes providing a specific performance index in control strategy. First, with a two-dimensional distributed parameter sensor using a PVDF film, the necessary and sufficient condition for sensing the transformed modes of a structure is derived. Then, by considering the practicability of the two-dimensional sensors, an alternative approach based upon one-dimensional smart sensors is presented. It is found that the latter approach holds the necessary condition for sensing the transformed mode. This problem is overcome by introducing multiple one-dimensional smart sensors. Moreover, the design procedure for the multiple one-dimensional smart sensors for measuring the transformed mode is established. Finally, an experiment is conducted, demonstrating the validity of the smart sensors.

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