Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases



"A health monitoring approach is investigated for hydrokinetic turbine blade applications. In-service monitoring is critical due to the difficult environment for blade inspection and the cost of inspection downtime. Composite blade designs provide a medium for embedding sensors into the blades for in-situ health monitoring. The major challenge with in-situ health monitoring is transmission of sensor signals from the remote rotating reference frame of the blade to the system monitoring station. In the presented work, a novel system for relaying in-situ blade health measurements in hydrokinetic systems is described and demonstrated. An ultrasonic communication system is used to transmit health data underwater from the rotating frame of the blade to a fixed relay station. Data are then broadcast via radio waves to a remote monitoring station. Results indicate that the assembled system can transmit simulated sensor data with an accuracy of ł5% at a maximum sampling rate of 500 samples/sec. A power investigation of the transmitter within the blade shows that continuous max-sampling operation is only possible for short durations (~days), and is limited due to the capacity of the battery power source. However, intermittent sampling, with long periods between samples, allows for the system to last for very long durations (~years). Finally, because the data transmission can operate at a high sampling rate for short durations or at a lower sampling rate/higher duty cycle for long durations, it is well-suited for short-term prototype and environmental testing, as well as long-term commercially-deployed hydrokinetic machines"--Abstract, page iii.


Rovey, Joshua L.

Committee Member(s)

Stutts, Daniel S.
Chandrashekhara, K.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2012


viii, 61 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 80-87).


© 2012 Andrew James Heckman, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Structural health monitoring
Turbines -- Blades
Ultrasonic waves

Thesis Number

T 10051

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Electronic OCLC #