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SBIR/STTR

An Ultrasonic Wireless Sensor Network for Data Communication and Structural Health Monitoring, Phase I

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Typical Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) uses embedded ultrasonic transducers exclusively for non-destructive evaluation (NDE) purposes, whereas data transfer is performed over separate wireless radio frequency (RF) links. Ultrasonic systems, however, are also effective as a communication technology, and in fact may prove to have crucial advantages over RF-based sensor networks in certain scenarios. In this proposal, X-wave Innovations, Inc. (XII) and University of Maryland Easton Shore (UMES) outline an innovative Self-powered Ultrasonic Wireless Sensor Network (SUWSN) technology, which performs simultaneous NDE and wireless data communication. Our communication approach is based on a special modulation technique that mitigates the dispersive nature of the ultrasonic channel and allows the simultaneous determination of structural health. For the Phase I program, we will prototype a SUWSN system and demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed technique for simultaneous data communication and NDI/SHM. For the Phase II program, we will focus on refining the SUWSN prototype system design and development with improved hardware and software. For the Phase III program, XII will focus on optimizing the SUWSN performance and collaborating with our commercial partners to improve and package the SUWSN technology into a turnkey commercially-available system. More »

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