Author's School

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Author's Department/Program

Computer Science and Engineering


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Chenyang Lu


The health of civil structures is very important and sometimes life-critical. While there are different ways to monitor their health, wireless sensor network: WSN) has the advantage of easy deployment and low cost, which make it feasible for most structures. We designed and implemented a system to localize damages on structures with a WSN by detecting the change in structure flexibility. This method has been validated to work well on bridges like a cantilever beam and a truss. It is also possible to be extended to other type of structures. Different from other systems, in network data processing was applied to lower the bandwidth requirement of large amount of raw sensing data. Only the intermediate computation results, that capture the flexibility related information, were transmitted back to the base station. We also divide the detection and localization into multiple levels. Lower level acts as the sentinel to detect the existence of damage; and higher levels, which consume more energy, are then triggered when necessary to get a higher resolution of localization. This design helps to further extend the lifetime of the system.


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