Sensor Board Licensed for Release
A sensor board for wireless structural health monitoring that was developed by researchers at Illinois has been licensed for commercial release by MEMSIC Inc.
The ISM400 is an integrated sensor board that provides an inexpensive means for continuous and reliable structural health monitoring using dense arrays of wireless smart sensors. The sensor board was designed by CEE student Jennifer Rice (MS 05, PhD 09), now an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. It is part of a system developed by researchers in the Illinois Structural Health Monitoring Project (ISHMP)—led by professors Bill Spencer of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Gul Agha of the Department of Computer Science.
The system, currently deployed at full scale on the Jindo Bridge in South Korea, is the first inexpensive, wireless means for continuous and reliable structural health monitoring. Its use on the Jindo Bridge, a joint project between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, KAIST in Korea, and the University of Tokyo, is the first dense deployment of a wireless sensor network on a cable-stayed bridge and the largest of its kind for civil infrastructure to date.
"The ISM400/Imote2 platform provides, for the first time, a commercial device with the ability to collect synchronized, high-fidelity, and vibration data wirelessly," Spencer said. "The device addresses the needs of the rapidly growing dynamic sensing community, particularly the portion engaged in monitoring the performance and health of structures. Large-scale, practical structural health monitoring deployments using smart wireless sensors will soon be commonplace."
The board is supported by the ISHMP Services Toolsuite, which provides an open-source software library of customizable services and examples of structural health monitoring applications utilizing wireless smart sensor networks. The ISHMP Services Toolsuite on the Imote2 employs TinyOS as the operating system.
Structural health monitoring is an emerging field that combines civil engineering knowledge with developments in sensor technology, information management, and networking technologies. The goal is to move toward densely instrumented structures that can self-diagnose when anomalous behavior is detected, ultimately lowering the total cost of operation and improving public safety.