Overcome to Some Technical Limitations and Challenges in Structural Health Monitoring of Concrete Structures Using Wireless Sensor Networks
Saman Shoorabi Sani
This paper presents the development of an automatic wireless sensor monitoring system for civil engineering structures. The objective is to provide a solution to measure both temperature and humidity inside a concrete structure. The research has been focused in the early age and curing phase period. Four solutions have been addressed. The first one involves the use of a negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistor and an IRIS mote allowing for the creation of an IEEE 802.15.4 network. However, the results have shown that the sensor measurements present a 5 C standard deviation between the actual and the experimental values. The second one considers the use of the SHT15 (humidity/temperature) sensor, together with the PIC18F4680 microcontroller or the Arduino platform. The third solution involves the use of the SHT21S (humidity/ temperature) sensor and the eZ430-RF2500 wireless development tool platform for the MSP430 microcontroller. In this case, the temperature readings were successfully performed for the first 16 h, while the humidity values were successfully obtained for the first 24 h of the experiment. Although the set of measured values is very promising for the SHT15 and SHT21S sensors, both sensors have stopped working after some time, showing that direct contact between the sensor and the concrete alkaline environment causes its breakdown. Finally, the fourth solution considers both the SHT15 and SHT21S sensors completely shielded allowing for the creation of a long-term solution. As, the SHT15 and SHT12S sensors have not been affected by the alkaline environment for more than two months of operation, enabling real-time and continuous monitoring with almost non-intrusive tiny devices, the potential of applying the proposed inexpensive wireless sensor network approach is verified.
Keywords: Wireless Sensor Networks, Structural Health Monitoring, Concrete, Sensor, Temperature, Humidity