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ABSTRACT: The paper presents a prototype wireless system for the detection of active fatigue cracks in aging railways bridges in real-time. The system is based on a small low-cost sensor node, called an AEPod, that has four acoustic emission (AE) channels and a strain channel for sensing, as well as the capability to communicate in a wireless fashion with other nodes and a base station. AEPods are placed at fracture-critical bridge locations. The strain sensor detects oncoming traffic and triggers the AEPod out of its hibernation mode. As the train stresses the fracture-critical member, acoustic emission and strain data are acquired. The data are compressed and filtered at the AEPod and transmitted off the bridge using cell-phone communication.
IEEE Sensors Journal 12/2009; · 1.48 Impact Factor