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Crack propagation measurement using a battery-free slotted patch antenna sensor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, EWSHM 2014 - 2nd European Conference of the Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) Society
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event7th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, EWSHM 2014 - Nantes, France
Duration: 8 Jul 201411 Jul 2014


Conference7th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, EWSHM 2014


This research studies the performance of a battery-free wireless antenna sensor for measuring crack propagation. In our previous work, a battery-free folded patch antenna was designed for wireless strain and crack sensing. When experiencing deformation, the antenna shape changes, causing shift in electromagnetic resonance frequency of the antenna. The wireless interrogation system utilizes the principle of electromagnetic backscattering and adopts off-the-shelf 900MHz radiofrequency identification (RFID) technology. Following the same sensing mechanism, a slotted patch antenna sensor of smaller size is designed. The antenna detours surface current using slot patterns, so that the effective electrical length is kept similar as previous folded patch antenna. As a result, the sensor footprint is reduced and the antenna resonance frequency is maintained within 900MHz RFID band. To validate the sensor performance for crack sensing, a fatigue crack experiment is conducted on a steel compact-tension specimen. A slotted patch antenna sensor is installed at the center of the A36 steel specimen. For wireless interrogation, a Yagi reader antenna is placed 36 in. away from the antenna sensor to wirelessly measure the resonance frequency shift of the antenna sensor. The measurement is taken after every 10,000 loading cycles, till the specimen fails. Meanwhile, the length and width of the fatigue crack are also recorded. Finally, the resonance frequency shift of the antenna sensor is correlated with crack length and width at each loading stage.


  • Battery-free sensor, Fatigue crack, RFID, Slotted patch antenna