Reliable multi-hop communication for structural health monitoring

Tomonori Nagayama, Parya Moinzadeh, Kirill Mechitov, Mitsushi Ushita, Noritoshi Makihata, Masataka Leiri, Gul Agha, Billie F. Spencer, Yozo Fujino, Ju Won Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wireless smart sensor networks (WSSNs) have been proposed by a number of researchers to evaluate the current condition of civil infrastructure, offering improved understanding of dynamic response through dense instrumentation. As focus moves from laboratory testing to full-scale implementation, the need for multi-hop communication to address issues associated with the large size of civil infrastructure and their limited radio power has become apparent. Multi-hop communication protocols allow sensors to cooperate to reliably deliver data between nodes outside of direct communication range. However, application specific requirements, such as high sampling rates, vast amounts of data to be collected, precise internodal synchronization, and reliable communication, are quite challenging to achieve with generic multi-hop communication protocols. This paper proposes two complementary reliable multi-hop communication solutions for monitoring of civil infrastructure. In the first approach, termed herein General Purpose Multi-hop (GPMH), the wide variety of communication patterns involved in structural health monitoring, particularly in decentralized implementations, are acknowledged to develop a flexible and adaptable any-to-any communication protocol. In the second approach, termed herein Single-Sink Multi-hop (SSMH), an efficient many-to-one protocol utilizing all available RF channels is designed to minimize the time required to collect the large amounts of data generated by dense arrays of sensor nodes. Both protocols adopt the Ad-hoc On-demand Distance Vector (AODV) routing protocol, which provides any-to-any routing and multi-cast capability, and supports a broad range of communication patterns. The proposed implementations refine the routing metric by considering the stability of links, exclude functionality unnecessary in mostly-static WSSNs, and integrate a reliable communication layer with the AODV protocol. These customizations have resulted in robust realizations of multi-hop reliable communication that meet the demands of structural health monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-504
Number of pages24
JournalSmart Structures and Systems
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2010


  • Dense instrumentation
  • Multi-hop communication
  • Reliability
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Wireless smart sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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