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Ultrasonic wave-based structural health monitoring embedded instrument
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Piezoelectric sensors and actuators are the bridge between electronic and mechanical systems in structures. This type of sensor is a key element in the integrity monitoring of aeronautic structures, bridges, pressure vessels, wind turbine blades, and gas pipelines. In this paper, an all-in-one system for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) based on ultrasonic waves is presented, called Phased Array Monitoring for Enhanced Life Assessment. This integrated instrument is able to generate excitation signals that are sent through piezoelectric actuators, acquire the received signals in the piezoelectric sensors, and carry out signal processing to check the health of structures. To accomplish this task, the instrument uses a piezoelectric phased-array transducer that performs the actuation and sensing of the signals. The flexibility and strength of the instrument allow the user to develop and implement a substantial part of the SHM technique using Lamb waves. The entire system is controlled using configuration software and has been validated through functional, electrical loading, mechanical loading, and thermal loading resistance tests.
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