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Miniature mobile sensor platforms for condition monitoring of structures

Friedrich, M. and Dobie, G.I.I. and Chan, C.C. and Pierce, S.G. and Galbraith, W. and Marshall, S. and Hayward, G. (2009) Miniature mobile sensor platforms for condition monitoring of structures. IEEE Sensors Journal, 9 (11). pp. 1439-1448. ISSN 1530-437X

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Abstract

In this paper, a wireless, multisensor inspection system for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of materials is described. The sensor configuration enables two inspection modes-magnetic (flux leakage and eddy current) and noncontact ultrasound. Each is designed to function in a complementary manner, maximizing the potential for detection of both surface and internal defects. Particular emphasis is placed on the generic architecture of a novel, intelligent sensor platform, and its positioning on the structure under test. The sensor units are capable of wireless communication with a remote host computer, which controls manipulation and data interpretation. Results are presented in the form of automatic scans with different NDE sensors in a series of experiments on thin plate structures. To highlight the advantage of utilizing multiple inspection modalities, data fusion approaches are employed to combine data collected by complementary sensor systems. Fusion of data is shown to demonstrate the potential for improved inspection reliability.