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NSEL Report 019 - Updated July 27, 2010PDF


Title:Decentralized Strategies for Monitoring Structures using Wireless Smart Sensor Networks
Author(s):Sim, Sung-Han; Spencer, Billie F., Jr.
Subject(s):structural health monitoring
wireless smart sensor
wireless smart sensor network
decentralized processing
ISHMP Services Toolsuite
Abstract:Driven by the needs to address problems with our rapidly aging civil infrastructure, structural health monitoring (SHM) has arisen as an important tool to improve maintenance and operation. Introduced as a promising alternative to the traditional wired sensors, wireless smart sensors offer unique features (low cost, wireless communication, onboard computation, and small size) that enable deployment of dense array of sensors essential for assessing structural damage. The centralized data collection approach, which the wired sensor system commonly employs, is not suitable to wireless smart sensor networks (WSSNs) due to limitations in the wireless communication; decentralized data aggregation and processing is required in the WSSNs. Rather than collecting uncondensed raw sensor data at a centralized location, in-network data processing, made possible by the onboard computational capability of smart sensors, is utilized to condense the raw data and extract meaningful information. By transferring only the condensed data to the centralized location, data communication over the wireless links can be greatly reduced. Decentralized data aggregation approaches can be placed in two broad categories: (a) independent processing (each node processes sensor data independently), and (b) coordinated processing (sensor nodes collaborate to process sensor data by sharing information). This report outlines the implementation of both decentralized data aggregation approaches for the WSSNs employing Crossbow’s Imote2 smart sensor platform. Design considerations for developing WSSN applications are described herein, including network-wide flow and timing, fault-tolerant feature, and network topology to account for the decentralized data aggregation. WSSN applications introduced in this report can be downloaded at the Illinois SHM Project website (
Issue Date:2009-11
Date Updated:2010-01-22
Publisher:Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Series/Report:Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory Report Series 019
Genre:Technical Report
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright held by the authors. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-11-21

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