Distributed Sensor Network for Structural Health Monitoring of Ships
There is a critical need for the ability to assess the structural health of the Navy"s ships through the use of strain monitoring. A strain monitoring system that is simple, unobtrusive, and highly reliable would be invaluable to the Navy for assessing the health of their vessels. To provide this capability, in Phase I McQ proposed the development of the strain acquisition and monitoring system (SAMS). SAMS consists of a scalable network of distributed miniature data acquisition modules that acquire, condition, and digitize strain signals. Each acquisition module consists of a strain sensor, signal conditioning, and digital signal acquisition electronics integrated onto a miniature printed circuit board (PCB). The modules are capable of transmitting the digitized data over a communications bus back to a data monitor to be viewed, recorded, and/or analyzed by a user in real time. The data monitor not only serves as an interface to the strain data but as a command and control center for the network of acquisition modules. It makes it possible to enable and disable individual modules, as well as configure the rate at which each module samples and reports the acquired strain data. The SAMS will serve as a high performance structural health monitoring system that can capture and record a high fidelity strain history over the lifetime of a ship.
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