Engineering Seminar (3 Dec): Remote Placement of Ultrasonic Sensors for Structural Health Monitoring

Engineering Institute Lecture Series
Sponsored by EI, ASME, IEEE, and ANS

Title: Remote Placement of Ultrasonic Sensors for Structural Health Monitoring

Presented by: David Mascareñas, Ph.D., NSEC, Engineering Institute

Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Time: 3:30 – 5:00 PM
Location: Los Alamos Research Park, Conference Room 203A

Abstract: In this work we develop an intelligent remote sensor placement system for standoff deployment of magnetically coupled ultrasonic sensors for structural health monitoring applications. Currently there exists significant legacy infrastructure that requires monitoring. Sensors often need to be accurately placed in hard-to-reach locations which are exposed to harsh environmental conditions, all while ensuring adequate mechanical coupling between the sensor and the structure. Installing these sensors is a task which is time consuming, expensive, and dangerous. In this paper, we develop an intelligent pneumatic remote sensor placement system meant to be integrated with a rotorcraft. This system is being designed to accurately deploy sensor nodes from a standoff distance. To achieve this it will calculate the required trajectory to ensure proper coupling between the node and the structure. This work leverages recent advances in computer vision and multicopter control to align the remote sensor placement system with the point of attachment on the structure. This technology will reduce the barriers associated with the deployment of large scale sensor networks in the field of structural health monitoring. Furthermore, this work will have significant application in a variety of sensor placement applications.

Biography: David D. L. Mascareñas earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in structural engineering at the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, CA in 2006 and 2008, respectively. He received his B.S. in mechanical engineering at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO in 2004. He worked as a laboratory manager at SAIC/Sullivan International in 2009 to develop systems health monitoring software for ground-based robots. In 2010 he was a Director’s funded postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 2012 he was converted to a technical staff member at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he performs research on cyber-physical systems at the Engineering Institute. Currently, he performs research on the application of compressive sensing techniques to structural health monitoring, the deployment of wireless sensor networks, standoff experimental mechanics, and the development of techniques to interface humans to data using vibro-tactile interfaces.


For more information contact the institutional host Chuck Farrar,, 663-5330.

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