Document Type



Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Ibrahim Nur Tansel

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Yiding Cao

Third Advisor's Name

Sabri Tosunoglu

Fourth Advisor's Name

Shih-Ming Lee


Structural Health Monitoring, Index Based Reasoning, Self Organizing Map, Fuzzy Logic Control, S Transform

Date of Defense



Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) may develop cracks, erosion, delamination or other damages due to aging, fatigue or extreme loads. Identifying these damages is critical for the safe and reliable operation of the systems. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is capable of determining the conditions of systems automatically and continually through processing and interpreting the data collected from a network of sensors embedded into the systems. With the desired awareness of the systems’ health conditions, SHM can greatly reduce operational cost and speed up maintenance processes. The purpose of this study is to develop an effective, low-cost, flexible and fault tolerant structural health monitoring system. The proposed Index Based Reasoning (IBR) system started as a simple look-up-table based diagnostic system. Later, Fast Fourier Transformation analysis and neural network diagnosis with self-learning capabilities were added. The current version is capable of classifying different health conditions with the learned characteristic patterns, after training with the sensory data acquired from the operating system under different status. The proposed IBR systems are hierarchy and distributed networks deployed into systems to monitor their health conditions. Each IBR node processes the sensory data to extract the features of the signal. Classifying tools are then used to evaluate the local conditions with health index (HI) values. The HI values will be carried to other IBR nodes in the next level of the structured network. The overall health condition of the system can be obtained by evaluating all the local health conditions. The performance of IBR systems has been evaluated by both simulation and experimental studies. The IBR system has been proven successful on simulated cases of a turbojet engine, a high displacement actuator, and a quad rotor helicopter. For its application on experimental data of a four rotor helicopter, IBR also performed acceptably accurate. The proposed IBR system is a perfect fit for the low-cost UAVs to be the onboard structural health management system. It can also be a backup system for aircraft and advanced Space Utility Vehicles.





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