Wireless Feedback Structural Control with Embedded Computing


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In recent years, substantial research has been conducted to advance structural control as a direct means of mitigating the dynamic response of civil structures. In parallel to these efforts, the structural engineering field is currently exploring low-cost wireless sensors for use in structural monitoring systems. To reduce the labor and costs associated with installing extensive lengths of coaxial wires in today's structural control systems, wireless sensors are being considered as building blocks of future systems. In the proposed system, wireless sensors are designed to perform three major tasks in the control system; wireless sensors are responsible for the collection of structural response data, calculation of control forces, and issuing commands to actuators. In this study, a wireless sensor is designed to fulfill these tasks explicitly. However, the demands of the control system, namely the need to respond in real-time, push the limits of current wireless sensor technology. The wireless channel can introduce delay in the communication of data between wireless sensors; in some rare instances, outright data loss can be experienced. Such issues are considered an intricate part of this feasibility study. A prototype Wireless Structural Sensing and Control (WiSSCon) system is presented herein. To validate the performance of this prototype system, shaking table experiments are carried out on a half-scale three story steel structure in which a magnetorheological (MR) damper is installed for real-time control. In comparison to a cable-based control system installed in the same structure, the performance of the WiSSCon system is shown to be effective and reliable.



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