Title page for ETD etd-08112005-224301

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Law, Yiu Kui
Author's Email Address ylaw@vt.edu
URN etd-08112005-224301
Title Design and Testing of Off-The-Shelf Electronic Components for an Acoustic Emission Structural Health Monitoring System Using Piezoelectric Sensors
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Wicks, Alfred L. Committee Chair
Johnson, Martin E. Committee Member
Robertshaw, Harry H. Committee Member
  • acoustic emission
  • operational amplifier
  • charge amplifier
  • high pass filter
  • low pass filter
  • line driver
  • wave propagation
Date of Defense 2005-08-03
Availability unrestricted
The safety concern of aging aircraft is a rising issue in terms of both safety and cost. An aircraft structure failure during flight is unacceptable. A method needs to be developed and standardized to test the integrity of both commercial and military aircrafts. The current method to test the structure of an aircraft requires the aircraft to be taken out of service for inspection; this is costly due to the inspection required to be performed and the lost use from downtime.

A novice idea of an on-site structural health monitoring (SHM) system has been proposed to test the integrity of aircraft structure. An on-site system is a system that can be used to perform inspection on an aircraft simultaneously while the aircraft is in use. This SHM system uses the principles of active lamb wave and passive acoustic emission through the use of piezoelectric sensors as the sensing elements. Piezoelectric sensors can be used both as an input device and as a sensing element.

This research focuses on the development of the major data acquisition electronic components of the system. These components are charge amplifier, high pass filter, low pass filter and line driver. A charge amplifier converts a high impedance signal to a low impedance signal. A high pass filter attenuates the low frequency content of a signal, while a low pass filter attenuates the high frequency content of a signal. A line driver converts a low current signal to a high current signal. All of these components need to operate up to a frequency of 2 MHz. Off-the-shelf electronics will be used for prototyping as custom components will not be feasible at this point of the research.

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