In this work, we develop a data-driven method for the diagnosis of damage in mesoscale mechanical structures using an array of distributed sensor networks. The proposed approach relies on comparing intrinsic geometries of data sets corresponding to the undamaged and damaged states of the system. We use a spectral diffusion map approach to identify the intrinsic geometry of the data set. In particular, time series data from distributed sensors is used for the construction of diffusion maps. The low dimensional embedding of the data set corresponding to different damage levels is obtained using a singular value decomposition of the diffusion map. We construct appropriate metrics in the diffusion space to compare the different data sets corresponding to different damage cases. The developed algorithm is applied for damage diagnosis of wind turbine blades. To achieve this goal, we developed a detailed finite element-based model of CX-100 blade in ANSYS using shell elements. Typical damage, such as crack or delamination, will lead to a loss of stiffness, is modeled by altering the stiffness of the laminate layer. One of the main challenges in the development of health monitoring algorithms is the ability to use sensor data with a relatively small signal-to-noise ratio. Our developed diffusion map-based algorithm is shown to be robust to the presence of sensor noise. The proposed diffusion map-based algorithm is advantageous by enabling the comparison of data from numerous sensors of similar or different types of data through data fusion, hereby making it attractive to exploit the distributed nature of sensor arrays. This distributed nature is further exploited for the purpose of damage localization. We perform extensive numerical simulations to demonstrate that the proposed method can successfully determine the extent of damage on the wind turbine blade and also localize the damage. We also present preliminary results for the application of the developed algorithm on the experimental data. These preliminary results obtained using experimental data are promising and is a topic of our ongoing investigation.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/simon_laflamme/41/