Presenter Information

Todd Nelson Kelsheimer


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Advisor

Chandrashekhara, K.

Advisor's Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


The purpose of the research project is to investigate the methods for embedding pizo-ceramic sensors and actuators in a composite ( a fiber reinforced epoxy matrix). The importance of these sensors and actuators is vital in controlling the vibration and excessive strain on a structure causing fatigue or failure. With the control of these instabilities by the actuator, proper performance of the structure is achieved. Most sensors and actuators are surface mounted because (1) The sensor can pick up the greatest strain on the surface of a structure. (2) The actuator can create a stronger moment to counter balance the strain when the actuator is further from the central axis of structure. The surface bonding of sensors and actuators work fine when testing in a lab, but when this technology is tested in the environment, the pizo-ceramics need to be protected from damage. This is why research in embedding sensors and actuators is important. The whole goal of the project is to embed the sensors and actuators as close to the surface of a composite structure as possible. This creates better sensing and dampening of strain and vibration while protecting the pizo-ceramic.

Document Type


Presentation Date

May 1994