Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have emerged as a reliable, low-cost alternative to the traditional wired sensing paradigm. While such networks have made significant progress in the field of structural monitoring, significantly less development has occurred for feedback control applications. Previous work in WSNs for feedback control has highlighted many of the challenges of using this technology including latency in the wireless communication channel and computational inundation at the individual sensing nodes. This work seeks to overcome some of those challenges by drawing inspiration from the real-time sensing and control techniques employed by the biological central nervous system and in particular the mammalian cochlea. A novel bio-inspired wireless sensor node was developed that employs analog filtering techniques to perform time-frequency decomposition of a sensor signal, thus encompassing the functionality of the cochlea. The node then utilizes asynchronous sampling of the filtered signal to compress the signal prior to communication. This bio-inspired sensing architecture is extended to a feedback control application in order to overcome the traditional challenges currently faced by wireless control. In doing this, however, the network experiences high bandwidths of low-significance information exchange between nodes, resulting in some lost data. This study considers the impact of this lost data on the control capabilities of the bio-inspired control architecture and finds that it does not significantly impact the effectiveness of control.
Courtney A. Peckens, Ireana Cook, and Jerome P. Lynch, "Communication analysis for feedback control of civil infrastructure using cochlea-inspired sensing nodes," Proc. SPIE 9797, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2016, 97970Q (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 22, 2016; Published: 22 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2218878.
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