P. Bandhil, S. Chitikeshi, C. Oesch, A. Maha jan, and F. Figueroa


Intelligent sensors, ISHM, IEEE 1451, smart devices


This paper proposes the development of intelligent sensors as part of an integrated systems approach, that is, one treats the sensors as a complete system with its own sensing hardware (the traditional sensor), A/D converters, processing and storage capabilities, software drivers, self-assessment algorithms, communication protocols and evolutionary methodologies that allow them to get better with time. Under a project being undertaken at the NASA’s Stennis Space Center, an integrated framework is being developed for the intelligent monitoring of smart elements. These smart elements can be sensors, actuators or other devices. The immediate application is the monitoring of the rocket test stands, but the technology should be generally applicable to the integrated systems health monitoring (ISHM) vision. This paper outlines progress made in the development of intelligent sensors by describing the work done till date on physical intelligent sensors (PIS). A microprocessor collects the sensor readings and runs numerous embedded event detection routines on the collected data and if any event is detected, it is reported, stored and sent to a remote system through an Ethernet connection. Hence the output of the PIS is data coupled with confidence factor in the reliability of the data which leads to information on the health of the sensor at all times. This physical implementation of the intelligent sensor is the focus of this paper. All communication protocols are consistent with IEEE 1451.X standards. This work lays the foundation for the next generation of smart devices that have embedded intelligence for distributed decision-making capabilities.

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