Decentralized structural health monitoring using smart sensors

B. F. Spencer, T. Nagayama, Jennifer A. Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Decentralized computing is required to harvest the rich information that a dense array of smart sensors can make available for structural health monitoring (SHM). Though smart sensor technology has seen substantial advances during recent years, implementation of smart sensors on full-scale structures has been limited. Direct replacement of wired sensing systems with wireless sensor networks is not straight-forward as off-the-shelf wireless systems are unlikely to provide the data users expect. Sensor component characteristics limit the quality of data collected due to packet loss during communication, time synchronization errors, and slow communication speeds. This paper describes a scalable, decentralized approach to SHM using smart sensors, including the middleware services which address these issues common to smart sensor applications for structural health monitoring. In addition, the results of experimental validation are given. Finally, ongoing research addressing other factors critical to successful implementation of a full-scale smart sensor network for SHM are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number693202
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2008
EventSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2008 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 10 2008Mar 13 2008


  • Distributed computing
  • Smart sensor
  • Structural health monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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