Recent Enhancements to and Applications of the SmartBrick Structural Health Monitoring Platform


The SmartBrick network is an autonomous and wireless solution for structural health monitoring of civil infrastructures. The base station is currently in its third generation and has been laboratory- and field-tested in the United States and Italy. The second generation of the sensor nodes has been laboratory-tested as of publication. In this paper, we present recent enhancements made to hardware and software of the SmartBrick platform. Salient improvements described include the development of a new base station with fully-integrated long-range GSM (cellular) and short-range ZigBee communication. The major software improvement described in this paper is migration to the ZigBee PRO stack, which was carried out in the interest of interoperability. To broaden the application of the platform to critical environments that require survivability and fault tolerance, we have striven to achieve compliance with military standards in the areas of hardware, software, and communication. We describe these efforts and present a survey of the military standards investigated. Also described is instrumentation of a three-span experimental bridge in Washington County, Missouri; with the SmartBrick platform. The sensors, whose output is conditioned and multiplexed; include strain gauges, thermocouples, push potentiometers, and three-axis inclinometers. Data collected is stored on site and reported over the cellular network. Real-time alerts are generated if any monitored parameter falls outside its acceptable range. Redundant sensing and communication provide reliability and facilitate corroboration of the data collected. A web interface is used to issue remote configuration commands and to facilitate access to and visualization of the data collected.

Meeting Name

Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems (2012: Mar. 12-15, San Diego, CA)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Cellular Network; Civil Infrastructures; Critical Environment; Distributed Sensor Networks; Embedded Sensors; Hardware And Software; Low Power; Missouris; Monitored Parameters; Remote Monitoring; Second Generation; Structural Health; Third Generation; Three-Axis; Washington; Web Interface; Wireless Solutions; Base Stations; Cellular Neural Networks; Communication; Fault Tolerance; Hardware; Optical Sensors; Regulatory Compliance; Sensor Networks; Sensor Nodes; Structural Health Monitoring; Thermocouples; Visualization; Voltage Dividers; ZigBee; Data Visualization; Distributed Sensor Network; Embedded Sensors; Low-Power Sensing

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Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2012 SPIE, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2012