Background: The field of structural monitoring has following challenges: Vibration based
methods are global in nature, but are not sensitive. Wave-propagation-based methods are sensitive, but
are localized in nature. Both the types of methods need a baseline for damage detection and are applicable
to specific types of structures and damages. Both the types of methods are dependent on traditional
finite element methods for damage modeling.
Objective: In this paper, a patent entitled “Structural Health Monitoring, systems and methods,” application
number 13/639796: priority date - 5 October, 2012, which addresses the challenges of the field,
is discussed. More specifically, the patent discusses improved methods for damage diagnosis and damage
modeling. The patent also introduces a new concept of design of structures with customized or
increased damage-detection sensitivity. Since the paper deals with structural health monitoring in a
comprehensive manner, substantial research that has been published as a follow up on the patent is
cited where appropriate. The primary objective of the paper is to present a single point from where
different aspects of the patent may be accessed.
Method: A vibration-based approach that uses modal analysis and perturbation is used. The sensitivity
concept is discussed by taking the T-beam as an example.
Results: Results that show that the objectives are met are provided for beam and plate structures. A
manifestation of a possible finite-element implementation that is faster than traditional finite elements
methods is also provided.
Conclusion and Future Work: The comprehensive nature of the patent does not allow to fully validating
the method for all kinds of structures. Till now, the method has been applied to beam and plate
structures. Validation for complex structures and exploring the new physical quantities that are discovered
is a good direction of the future work for this patent.