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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 509129, 9 pages
Research Article

On-Board Computing for Structural Health Monitoring with Smart Wireless Sensors by Modal Identification Using Hilbert-Huang Transform

1Harbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen 518055, China
2College of Computer Science and Technology, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China

Received 14 December 2012; Accepted 6 February 2013

Academic Editor: Shengyong Chen

Copyright © 2013 Ning Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Smart wireless sensors have been recognized as a promising technology to overcome many inherent difficulties and limitations associated with traditional wired structural health monitoring (SHM) systems. Despite the advances in smart sensor technologies, on-board computing capability of smart sensors has been considered as one of the most difficult challenges in the application of the smart sensors in SHM. Taking the advantage of recent developments in microprocessor which provides powerful on-board computing functionality for smart sensors, this paper presents a new decentralized data processing approach for modal identification using the Hilbert-Huang transform (HHT) algorithm, which is based on signal decomposition technique. It is shown that this method is suitable for implementation in the intrinsically distributed computing environment found in wireless smart sensor networks (WSSNs). The HHT-based decentralized data processing is, then, programmed and implemented on the Crossbow IRIS mote sensor platform. The effectiveness of the proposed techniques is demonstrated through a set of numerical studies and experimental validations on an in-house cable-stayed bridge model in terms of the accuracy of identified dynamic properties.