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For some time, the smart materials and structures community has focused on transducer effects, and the closest advance into actually having the "structure" show signs of intelligence is implementing adaptive control into a smart structure. Here we examine taking this a step further by attempting to combine embedded computing into a smart structure system. The system of focus is based on integrated structural health monitoring of a panel which consists of a completely wireless, active sensing systems with embedded electronics. We propose and discuss an integrated autonomous sensor "patch" that contains the following key elements: power harvesting from ambient vibration and temperature gradients, a battery charging circuit, local computing and memory, active sensors, and wireless transmission. These elements should be autonomous, self contained, and unobtrusive compared to the system being monitored. Each of these elements is discussed as a part of an integrated system to be used in structural health monitoring applications.
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Daniel J. Inman and Benjamin L. Grisso "Towards autonomous sensing", Proc. SPIE 6174, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems, 61740T (5 April 2006);

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