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Data Processing Algorithms in Wireless Sensor Networks for Structural Health Monitoring

The gradual deterioration and failure of old buildings, bridges and other civil engineering structures invoked the need for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems to develop a means to monitor the health of structures. Dozens of sensing, processing and monitoring mechanisms have been implemented and widely deployed with wired sensors.

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs), on the other hand, are networks of large numbers of low cost wireless sensor nodes that communicate through a wireless media. The complexity nature and high cost demand of the highly used wired traditional SHM systems have posed the need for replacement with WSNs.

However, the major fact that wireless sensor nodes have memory and power supply limitations has been an issue and many efficient options have been proposed to solve this problem and preserve the long life of the network. This is the reason why data processing algorithms in WSNs focus mainly on the accomplishment of efficient utilization of these scarce resources.

In this thesis, we design a low-power and memory efficient data processing algorithm using in-place radix-2 integer Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). This algorithm requires inputs with integer values; hence, increases the memory efficiency by more than 40% and highly saves processor power consumption over the traditional floating-point implementation. A standard-deviation-based peak picking algorithm is next applied to measure the natural frequency of the structure.

The algorithms together with Contiki, a lightweight open source operating system for networked embedded systems, are loaded on Z1 Zolertia sensor node. Analogue Device’s ADXL345 digital accelerometer on board is used to collect vibration data. The bridge model used to test the target algorithm is a simply supported beam in the lab.
Source: KTH
Author: Danna, Nigatu Mitiku | Mekonnen, Esayas Getachew

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