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Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2938; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17122938

Condition Assessment of Foundation Piles and Utility Poles Based on Guided Wave Propagation Using a Network of Tactile Transducers and Support Vector Machines

1
Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Safety, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
2
Centre for Built Infrastructure Research, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia
3
Division 8.2, German Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing (BAM), 12205 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Sensor Networks for Structural Health Monitoring)
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Abstract

This paper presents a novel non-destructive testing and health monitoring system using a network of tactile transducers and accelerometers for the condition assessment and damage classification of foundation piles and utility poles. While in traditional pile integrity testing an impact hammer with broadband frequency excitation is typically used, the proposed testing system utilizes an innovative excitation system based on a network of tactile transducers to induce controlled narrow-band frequency stress waves. Thereby, the simultaneous excitation of multiple stress wave types and modes is avoided (or at least reduced), and targeted wave forms can be generated. The new testing system enables the testing and monitoring of foundation piles and utility poles where the top is inaccessible, making the new testing system suitable, for example, for the condition assessment of pile structures with obstructed heads and of poles with live wires. For system validation, the new system was experimentally tested on nine timber and concrete poles that were inflicted with several types of damage. The tactile transducers were excited with continuous sine wave signals of 1 kHz frequency. Support vector machines were employed together with advanced signal processing algorithms to distinguish recorded stress wave signals from pole structures with different types of damage. The results show that using fast Fourier transform signals, combined with principal component analysis as the input feature vector for support vector machine (SVM) classifiers with different kernel functions, can achieve damage classification with accuracies of 92.5% ± 7.5%. View Full-Text
Keywords: Structural Health Monitoring; non-destructive testing; sensor network; tactile transducers; guided waves; support vector machine; principal component analysis; foundation piles; utility poles; pipelines Structural Health Monitoring; non-destructive testing; sensor network; tactile transducers; guided waves; support vector machine; principal component analysis; foundation piles; utility poles; pipelines
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Dackermann, U.; Yu, Y.; Niederleithinger, E.; Li, J.; Wiggenhauser, H. Condition Assessment of Foundation Piles and Utility Poles Based on Guided Wave Propagation Using a Network of Tactile Transducers and Support Vector Machines. Sensors 2017, 17, 2938.

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