Integrative approach for transducer positioning optimization for ultrasonic structural health monitoring for the detection of deterministic and probabilistic damage location

Vincentius Ewald*, Roger Groves, Rinze Benedictus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


The concept of structural health monitoring has been introduced to ensure structural integrity during the design lifetime of a structure. The main objectives of structural health monitoring are to detect, locate, quantify, and predict any damage that occurs during this lifetime of the structure so that effective and efficient maintenance and repair procedures can be performed. The location of structural damage events can be discretized as deterministic and probabilistic. A deterministic location specifies that the damage occurs in high-stress regions or other regions that can be predicted by the structural design, such as the most probable location for a fatigue crack. A probabilistic damage event is one where the location of the damage is independent of structural design parameters, such as hail impact, bird strike, and impact from ground vehicles. A structural health monitoring system should be able to handle both these damage occurrences. In our previous work, we optimized the transducer placement in Lamb wave–based structural health monitoring for the detection of a fatigue crack that emerges from a rivet hole. In this article, we demonstrate a combination of that method with a different sensor placement optimization method to add the capability to detect probabilistic damage location. First, we considered the ultrasonic wave attenuation in the structure and based on this attenuation, we created a fitness function. Since this fitness function is difficult to solve due to its combinatorial nature, we compared three common metaheuristic stochastic strategies: global random search, greedy algorithm, and genetic algorithm, for solving this problem. The results of this analysis were then integrated with the previously described deterministic approach, making a global structural health monitoring sensor placement strategy that balances the need to detect both pre-determined and random damage location occurrences. The analytical result of the study presented is validated by experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1144
Number of pages28
JournalStructural Health Monitoring
Issue number3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020


  • fatigue crack
  • genetic algorithm
  • greedy algorithm
  • impact damage
  • metaheuristic search
  • random search
  • sensor placement option
  • Ultrasonic structural health monitoring

Cite this