This project studies a wireless patch antenna as a novel strain/crack sensing technique for structural health monitoring (SHM). The strain/crack-induced resonance frequency shift of the antenna can be wirelessly detected and utilized to estimate the surface strain and crack propagation. However, temperature fluctuation can generate some unwanted changes in resonance frequency and introduce significant noises in measurement. This project studies a thermally stable patch antenna sensor through both numerical simulations and laboratory experiments. Using a substrate material with a steady dielectric constant, a patch antenna sensor is designed to perform reliably under temperature fluctuations. In addition, a dual-mode patch antenna sensor is designed to achieve long interrogation distance. Various types of materials used in substrate are investigated through laboratory tests. Strain/crack sensing performance has been validated through multi-physics simulations and experiments. The patch antenna sensors are demonstrated to be effective in wireless strain/crack measurements and have potential for large-scale monitoring of structures.

Research Center/Lab(s)

INSPIRE - University Transportation Center


Financial support for this INSPIRE UTC project was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (USDOT/OST-R) under Grant No. 69A3551747126 through INSPIRE University Transportation Center (http://inspire-utc.mst.edu) at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Grant Number

USDOT #69A3551747126


Principal Investigator: Yang Wang, Ph.D.

Grant Period: 30 Nov 2016 - 30 Sep 2022

Project Period: 01 Mar 2017 - 31 Mar 2020

Keywords and Phrases

Patch antenna sensor; Thermal stability; Strain; Crack; Wireless sensing; RFID

Report Number


Document Type

Technical Report

Document Version

Final Version

File Type




Publication Date

31 Mar 2020