Development and Application of High-Sensitivity Wireless Smart Sensors for Decentralized Stochastic Modal Identification

Hongki Jo, Sung Han Sim, Tomonori Nagayama, B. F. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


State-of-the-art smart sensor technology enables deployment of dense arrays of sensors, which is critical for structural health monitoring (SHM) of complicated and large-scale civil structures. Despite recent successful implementation of various wireless smart sensor networks (WSSNs) for full-scale SHM, the low-cost micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) sensors commonly used in smart sensors cannot readily measure low-level ambient vibrations because of their relatively low resolution. Combined use of conventional wired high-sensitivity sensors with low-cost wireless smart sensors has been shown to provide improved spectral estimates of response that can lead to improved experimental modal analysis. However, such a heterogeneous network of wired and wireless sensors requires central collection of an enormous amount of raw data and off-network processing to achieve global time synchronization; consequently, many of the advantages of WSSNs for SHM are lost. In this paper, the development of a new high-sensitivity accelerometer board (SHM-H) for the Imote2 wireless smart sensor (WSS) platform is presented. The use of a small number of these high-sensitivity WSSs, composed of the SHM-H and Imote2, as reference sensors in the Natural Excitation Technique-based decentralized WSSN strategy is explored and is shown to provide a cost-effective means of improving modal feature extraction in the decentralized WSSN for SHM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-694
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 4 2012


  • Decentralized sensor network
  • High-sensitivity sensor
  • Structural health monitoring
  • System identification
  • Wireless smart sensor network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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