Embedding compressive sensing-based data loss recovery algorithm into wireless smart sensors for structural health monitoring

Zilong Zou, Yuequan Bao, Hui Li, Billie F. Spencer, Jinping Ou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lossy transmission is a common problem for monitoring systems based on wireless sensors. Reliable communication protocols, which enhance communication reliability by repetitively transmitting unreceived packets, is one approach to tackle the problem of data loss. An alternative approach allows data loss to some extent and seeks to recover the lost data from an algorithmic point of view. Compressive sensing (CS) provides such a data loss recovery technique. This technique can be embedded into smart wireless sensors and effectively increases wireless communication reliability without retransmitting the data; the promise of this approach is to reduce communication and thus power savings. The basic idea of CS-based approach is that, instead of transmitting the raw signal acquired by the sensor, a transformed signal that is generated by projecting the raw signal onto a random matrix, is transmitted. Some data loss may occur during the transmission of this transformed signal. However, according to the theory of CS, the raw signal can be effectively reconstructed from the received incomplete transformed signal given that the raw signal is compressible in some basis and the data loss ratio is low. Specifically, this paper targets to provide accurate compensation for stationary and compressible acceleration signals obtained from structural health monitoring (SHM) systems with data loss ratio below 20%. This CS-based technique is implemented into the Imote2 smart sensor platform using the foundation of Illinois Structural Health Monitoring Project Service Tool-suite. To overcome the constraints of limited onboard resources of wireless sensor nodes, a method called random demodulator (RD) is employed to provide memory and power efficient construction of the random sampling matrix. Adaptation of RD sampling matrix is made to accommodate data loss in wireless transmission and meet the objectives of the data recovery. The embedded program is tested in a series of sensing and communication experiments. Examples and parametric study are presented to demonstrate the applicability of the embedded program as well as to show the efficacy of CS-based data loss recovery for real wireless SHM systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6894120
Pages (from-to)797-808
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Data loss recovery
  • Imote2
  • compressive sensing
  • random demodulator
  • structural health monitoring
  • wireless sensor network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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