Hybrid Wireless Hull Monitoring System for Naval Combat Vessels
NAVAL SURFACE WARFARE CENTER CARDEROCK DIV BETHESDA MD
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There is increasing interest by the naval engineering community in permanent monitoring systems that can monitor the structural behavior of ships during their operation at sea. This study seeks to reduce the cost and installation complexity of hull monitoring systems by introducing wireless sensors into their architectural designs. Wireless sensor networks also provide other advantages over their cable-based counterparts such as adaptability, redundancy, and weight savings. While wireless sensors can enhance functionality and reduce cost, the compartmentalized layout of most ships requires some wired networking to communicate data globally throughout the ship. In this study, 20 wireless sensing nodes are connected to a ship-wide fiber-optic data network to serve as a hybrid wireless hull monitoring system on a high-speed littoral combat vessel FSF-1 Sea Fighter. The wireless hull monitoring system is used to collect acceleration and strain data during unattended operation during a one-month period at sea. The key findings of this study include that wireless sensors can be effectively used for reliable and accurate hull monitoring. Furthermore, the fact that they are low-cost can lead to higher sensor densities in a hull monitoring system thereby allowing properties, such as hull mode shapes, to be accurately calculated.
- Marine Engineering
- Fiber Optics and Integrated Optics