Document Type



A key longstanding objective of the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) research community is to enable the embedment of SHM systems in high value assets like aircraft to provide on-demand damage detection and evaluation. As against traditional non-destructive inspection hardware, embedded SHM systems must be compact, lightweight, low-power and sufficiently robust to survive exposure to severe in-flight operating conditions. Typical Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) systems can be bulky, costly and are often inflexible in their configuration and/or scalability, which militates against in-service deployment. Advances in electronics have resulted in ever smaller, cheaper and more reliable components that facilitate the development of compact and robust embedded SHM systems, including for Acousto-Ultrasonics (AU), a guided plate-wave inspection modality that has attracted strong interest due mainly to its capacity to furnish wide-area diagnostic coverage with a relatively low sensor density. This article provides a detailed description of the development, testing and demonstration of a new AU interrogation system called the Acousto Ultrasonic Structural health monitoring Array Module+ (AUSAM+). This system provides independent actuation and sensing on four Piezoelectric Wafer Active Sensor (PWAS) elements with further sensing on four Positive Intrinsic Negative (PIN) photodiodes for intensity-based interrogation of Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG). The paper details the development of a novel piezoelectric excitation amplifier, which, in conjunction with flexible acquisition-system architecture, seamlessly provides electromechanical impedance spectroscopy for PWAS diagnostics over the full instrument bandwidth of 50 KHz–5 MHz. The AUSAM+ functionality is accessed via a simple hardware object providing a myriad of custom software interfaces that can be adapted to suit the specific requirements of each individual application.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


APA Citation

Smithard, J., Rajic, N., van der Velden, S., Norman, P., Rosalie, C., Galea, S., Mei, H., Lin, B., & Giurgiutiu, V. (2017).An Advanced Multi-Sensor Acousto-Ultrasonic Structural Health Monitoring System: Development and Aerospace Demonstration. Materials, 10(7), 832.