Development of microstrip patch antenna strain sensors for wireless structural health monitoring

Daliri, A 2011, Development of microstrip patch antenna strain sensors for wireless structural health monitoring, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Development of microstrip patch antenna strain sensors for wireless structural health monitoring
Author(s) Daliri, A
Year 2011
Abstract Current developments in the design and manufacturing of composite materials along with their superior mechanical characteristics have resulted in the extensive use of these materials in advanced structures for aerospace industry. In recent years, several different attempts have been made to develop Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems and, as a result, various SHM techniques have been introduced. Currently, however, none of these techniques are capable of monitoring the condition of complex operational aerospace structures.

The number of sensors and its wiring pose significant problems because of the increased signal processing demand and heightened system unreliability, respectively. Current available wireless sensors are not efficient enough to be used in SHM for aerospace structures primarily because of cost and battery power limitations. The aim in this research was to investigate the feasibility of using microstrip patch antennas as a new type of strain sensor and develop the required techniques for wireless strain measurement without these aforementioned problems.
Analytical, computational (finite element analysis) and experimental tests conducted in this research demonstrated that microstrip patch antennas can be used to reliably measure strain. As a result of investigating different microstrip patch antenna configurations in this study, novel antenna sensors were designed, simulated and tested. These antenna sensors (circular, slotted circular and meandered circular microstrip patch antennas) showed good sensitivity with strain with acceptable linearity between strain and the shift in its resonant frequency. In particular, the meandered circular microstrip patch antenna was shown to have localised and omni-directional strain measurement capabilities.

In this research, it was shown that by using carefully selected techniques, the resonant frequency of circular microstrip patch antennas can be detected and measured wirelessly. As a result, the feasibility of wireless strain measurement for different aerospace materials (aluminium, carbon fibre reinforced polymer and glass fibre reinforced polymer) was demonstrated. Several diagnostic-related parameters here were investigated and a pivotal parameter discovered was the distance between the sensor and the reader. This technology can be further developed to be used in SHM techniques for wireless measurement of strain and possibly wireless detection of damage in aerospace structures.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Keyword(s) Microstrip Patch Antenna
Structural Health Monitoring
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Created: Mon, 17 Sep 2012, 12:06:54 EST by Kelly Duong
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