U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

Overview

 

Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

[Printer friendly]

 

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-10-0014
Project Name:   Nanoscale Sensors for Structural Health
Project Status:   Active
Start Date:  March 5, 2010
End Date:  September 27, 2013
Contact Information
Last Name:  Boone
First Name:  Shane
Telephone:  202-493-3064
E-mail:  shane.boone@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Infrastructure Management Team [HRDI-60]
Program:   Exploratory Advanced Research
Project detail
Roadmap/Focus area(s):   Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan and Roadmap
Project Description:   This project will investigate self-powered, very large-area wireless sensors for the real-time monitoring of potentially dangerous cracks in steel bridges. The sensing elements are made by inkjet printing nanoparticles onto flexible organic substrates. Carbon nanotube-based materials will be explored for scavenging solar and vibrational energy to power the sensor nodes. Multiscale wireless communication approaches are proposed for convenient access to the sensor data over the Internet.
Goals:  
The key project objectives are:
 
(1) Strain and crack monitoring using a single wireless nanosensor. Testing must detect a 1-mm crack and a strain measurement of 10,000 με with a resolution of 10 με.
(2) Strain and crack monitoring using wireless nanosensor arrays. Must maintain same measurement criteria for a single nanosensor on an array up to 100 sensors while being read from a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) 15 m away.
(3) Carbon nanotube-based energy harvesting for the wireless nanosensors. The sensor array must be capable of providing measurement at any time of day.
(4) Testing specimens with more complex geometries. Must achieve same success criteria as shown for simple specimens.
(5) Field Validation. Minimum continuous operation time in the field of three months.
Background Information:   Project submitted in response to a fiscal year 2007 Exploratory Advanced Research Program solicitation.
Field Test:   The team will field validate the sensors with the requirement that the same testing criteria be met in the field for three months.
Product Type:   Hardware
Research report
Test Methodology:   Progressively develop the sensor by first demonstrating the capability of a single sensor on a known crack and then moving on to a sensor array capable of determining unknown crack properties and introducing energy harvesting nanotubes. All early work will be performed in the laboratory before moving to the field for final testing.
Expected Benefits:   Self-powering sensors, nanosensors for crack detection, remote access to nanosensors
Deliverables:   The deliverable is a report summarizing the approach and findings of the research.
FHWA Topics:   Roads and Bridges--Structures
TRT Terms:   Safety and Security
Safety
Transportation Safety
Infrastructure
Research
Steel Bridges
Cracks
FHWA Disciplines:   Structures
Subject Areas:   Bridges and other structures
Research
Maintenance and Preservation

 

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101