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Design and Integration of a Wireless Stretchable Multimodal Sensor Network in a Composite Wing

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Building 530, 440 Escondido Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
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Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, Engineering IV Building, 420 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
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Formerly with Acellent Technologies Inc., 835 Stewart Dr, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA
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Acellent Technologies Inc., 835 Stewart Dr, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA
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Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, Durand Building, 496 Lomita Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
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United Technologies Research Center, 411 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT 06108, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This article is the extended version of the conference papers “Fabrication and Functionalization of Distributed and Stretchable Sensor Networks for Structural Health Monitoring” and “Flexible electronics and Software for Stretchable Sensor Networks in Structural Health Monitoring” published in the Proceedings of the 12th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, Stanford, CA, USA, 10–12 September 2019.
Sensors 2020, 20(9), 2528; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092528
Received: 1 April 2020 / Revised: 27 April 2020 / Accepted: 27 April 2020 / Published: 29 April 2020
This article presents the development of a stretchable sensor network with high signal-to-noise ratio and measurement accuracy for real-time distributed sensing and remote monitoring. The described sensor network was designed as an island-and-serpentine type network comprising a grid of sensor “islands” connected by interconnecting “serpentines.” A novel high-yield manufacturing process was developed to fabricate networks on recyclable 4-inch wafers at a low cost. The resulting stretched sensor network has 17 distributed and functionalized sensing nodes with low tolerance and high resolution. The sensor network includes Piezoelectric (PZT), Strain Gauge (SG), and Resistive Temperature Detector (RTD) sensors. The design and development of a flexible frame with signal conditioning, data acquisition, and wireless data transmission electronics for the stretchable sensor network are also presented. The primary purpose of the frame subsystem is to convert sensor signals into meaningful data, which are displayed in real-time for an end-user to view and analyze. The challenges and demonstrated successes in developing this new system are demonstrated, including (a) developing separate signal conditioning circuitry and components for all three sensor types (b) enabling simultaneous sampling for PZT sensors for impact detection and (c) configuration of firmware/software for correct system operation. The network was expanded with an in-house developed automated stretch machine to expand it to cover the desired area. The released and stretched network was laminated into an aerospace composite wing with edge-mount electronics for signal conditioning, processing, power, and wireless communication. View Full-Text
Keywords: sensor networks; CMOS; wireless communication; RTD; PZT; strain gauge; aerospace composite wing; structural health monitoring (SHM); real-time sensing sensor networks; CMOS; wireless communication; RTD; PZT; strain gauge; aerospace composite wing; structural health monitoring (SHM); real-time sensing
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Chen, X.; Maxwell, L.; Li, F.; Kumar, A.; Ransom, E.; Topac, T.; Lee, S.; Faisal Haider, M.; Dardona, S.; Chang, F.-K. Design and Integration of a Wireless Stretchable Multimodal Sensor Network in a Composite Wing. Sensors 2020, 20, 2528.

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