Edward Sazonov, Vidya Krishnamurthy and Robert Schilling, E. Sazonov, V. Krishnamurthy and R. Schilling, Structural Health Monitoring, September 2010; vol. 9, 5: pp. 465-476.
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have attracted attention as a possible solution for applications of periodic and continuous structural health monitoring. Ensuring synchronous data acquisition across wireless nodes in large networks of sensors spatially distributed on a structure is of critical importance for many methods of structural health monitoring, especially those based on analysis of vibration. In this paper we present a novel Wireless Intelligent Sensor and Actuator Network (WISAN) addressing the issue of scalability for applications of structural health monitoring. We also present a novel time synchronization algorithm that can keep the synchronization error between any number of globally distributed sensors nodes less than ±23 us. We show proof of stability for the time synchronization algorithm. We validate WISAN in laboratory experiments, testing the actual time synchronization between randomly selected sensors in a complex network. Finally, we validate WISAN in a field experiment by reconstructing mode shapes of a highway bridge.