The authors have recently developed a soft-elastomeric capacitive (SEC)-based thin film sensor for monitoring strain on mesosurfaces. Arranged in a network configuration, the sensing system is analogous to a biological skin, where local strain can be monitored over a global area. Under plane stress conditions, the sensor output contains the additive measurement of the two principal strain components over the monitored surface. In applications where the evaluation of strain maps is useful, in structural health monitoring for instance, such signal must be decomposed into linear strain components along orthogonal directions. Previous work has led to an algorithm that enabled such decomposition by leveraging a dense sensor network configuration with the addition of assumed boundary conditions. Here, we significantly improve the algorithm's accuracy by leveraging mature off-the-shelf solutions to create a hybrid dense sensor network (HDSN) to improve on the boundary condition assumptions. The system's boundary conditions are enforced using unidirectional RSGs and assumed virtual sensors. Results from an extensive experimental investigation demonstrate the good performance of the proposed algorithm and its robustness with respect to sensors' layout. Overall, the proposed algorithm is seen to effectively leverage the advantages of a hybrid dense network for application of the thin film sensor to reconstruct surface strain fields over large surfaces.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/simon_laflamme/42/