V. Krishnamurthy, K. Fowler and E.Sazonov, Smart Mater. Struct. 17 (2008) 055018.


Driven by the need to reduce the installation cost and maintenance cost of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are becoming increasingly popular. Perfect time synchronization amongst the wireless sensors is a key factor enabling the use of low-cost, low-power WSNs for structural health monitoring applications based on output-only modal analysis of structures. In this paper we present a theoretical framework for analysis of the impact created by time delays in the measured system response on the reconstruction of mode shapes using the popular frequency domain decomposition (FDD) technique. This methodology directly estimates the change in mode shape values based on sensor synchronicity. We confirm the proposed theoretical model by experimental validation in modal identification experiments performed on an aluminum beam. The experimental validation was performed using a wireless intelligent sensor and actuator network (WISAN) which allows for close time synchronization between sensors (0.

6–10 μs in the tested configuration) and guarantees lossless data delivery under normal conditions. The experimental results closely match theoretical predictions and show that even very small delays in output response impact the mode shapes.