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The Autonomous Collection of Highly Nonlinear Solitary Waves For Corrosion Detection

Misra, Ritesh (2021) The Autonomous Collection of Highly Nonlinear Solitary Waves For Corrosion Detection. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The aging of existing infrastructure calls for the capability to monitor structures to find weakening components and prevent life-threatening failures before they happen. The fields of non-destructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) are dedicated to investigating sensor technologies and corresponding solutions that can satisfy this need. The use of highly nonlinear solitary waves (HNSW) has emerged within the fields of NDE/SHM as a cost-effective technique to monitor a variety of structures and materials. HNSWs are mechanical waves that can form and travel in highly nonlinear systems, such as granular particles in Hertzian contact. While this technique has frequently been investigated to inspect and characterize materials, the use of this kind of sensor in field applications where portability is required has yet to be explored. Apart from conventional civil engineering inspection scenarios, practitioners within the field of robotics have explored the construction of robots specifically meant to inspect pipes through the usage of specialized sensors for NDE, such as ultrasonic transducers.

This thesis proposes the design of portable, low-cost, low-power wireless HNSW devices with the ability to operate autonomously for long periods without human intervention and classify materials with the same level of accuracy as expensive, specialized laboratory equipment systems. This thesis also explores the application of portable HNSW sensors to field robotics for NDE/SHEM and presents a novel robot design combining the technologies.

The designs of this thesis are validated via a series of laboratory experiments carried out on a variety of materials. The HNSW equipped robot is shown to be able to traverse metallic surfaces and detect simulated defects of varying depths. A mathematical model was developed that allows for the mapping of features from HNSW sensor waveforms to material thickness measurements. Results show that incorporation of the model into the design of the robot greatly improves the performance of HNSW sensing and allows for the robot to successfully detect outliers in the thickness of the plate.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Misra, Riteshrim39@pitt.edurim390000-0002-4542-7855
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairRizzo, Piervincenzopir3@pitt.edupir3
Committee CoChairDickerson, Samueldickerson@pitt.edusjdst31
Committee MemberMao, Zhi-Hongzhm4@pitt.eduzhm4
Committee MemberHu, JingtongJTHU@pitt.eduJTHU
Date: 3 September 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 July 2021
Approval Date: 3 September 2021
Submission Date: 13 July 2021
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 60
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Electrical and Computer Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: HNSW
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2021 18:38
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2023 05:15


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