Wireless structural health monitoring using MEMS

Markus Krüger*, Christian U. Große, Pedro José Marrón

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


So far, the inspection of building structures and especially of bridges is mainly done visually. Therefore, the condition of the structure is examined from the surface and the interpretation and assessment is based on the experience of the expert. However, the main purpose of monitoring civil structures is not to substitute visual inspection. Continuous structural health monitoring should provide data from the inside of a structure to better understand its structural performance and to predict its durability and remaining life time. Monitoring should render objective data and observable alterations in the structure continuously, which cannot be done by visual inspection. More detailed information is needed with respect to different exposure due to dynamic and static loads and also temperature and moisture. Today mainly wired monitoring systems are used to monitor structures, which are relatively expensive and time consuming to install. In this paper the basic principle of a wireless monitoring system equipped with MEMS sensors is presented, which can be easily installed at different structures. Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are small integrated devices or systems that combine electrical and mechanical components. A wireless monitoring sensor network equipped with such MEMS could be produced with a very low budget and becomes very efficient. This permits a wide area of applications not only in civil engineering. With respect to different applications relevant properties of a wireless monitoring system are described. In detail network configuration, power consumption, data acquisition and data aggregation, signal analysis and data reduction as well as reliability and robustness are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalKey Engineering Materials
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • MEMS
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Telemetry
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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