SBIR Phase I: Civil Structure Health Monitoring using Wireless Acoustic Emission Sensors

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0740397
Agency Tracking Number: 0740397
Amount: $99,633.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
WavesInSolids LLC
317H Rexplace, Madeira Beach, FL, 33708
DUNS: 122589794
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Thomas Hay
 (814) 571-6530
Business Contact
 Thomas Hay
Title: PhD
Phone: (814) 571-6530
Research Institution
This SBIR Phase I research proposal will advance the state-of-the-art by transforming civil infrastructure maintenance from time based to condition based, advance the state-of-the art in Acoustic Emission (AE) technology from the existing legacy personal computer based platform to an autonomous localized platform, develop a novel sensor node that can process high-bandwidth AE data in real-time, yet have low-power consumption and detect AE events in sleep mode, devise a time synchronization protocol that has high precision to enable the correlation of AE events across sensor nodes, support the periodic coordinated wake up of the network and have low overhead in terms of power consumption and develop a reliable data collection protocol that ensures that all AE detection data is delivered to the data sink at a high probability. There are undetected, detected and documented, and repaired fatigue cracks in every steel bridge that the company has inspected for their clients to date. Based on these inspected bridges and feedback from bridge engineers it is safe to assume that the majority of steel bridges in the U.S contain undetected fatigue cracks, known fatigue cracks with unknown crack propagation rates, and repaired/reinforced fatigues cracks that are not dormant. The proposed technology will offer a cost effective technology to detect and monitor fatigue crack activity in real-time. It s expected that the wireless system will be deliverable at two orders of magnitude cheaper than the conventional PC based approach. As a result, bridge owner/operators will be able to monitor two orders of magnitude more bridges at current maintenance budgets which translates into increased public safety.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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