Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Gary Atkinson


A multifunctional strain sensor based on Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Orthogonal Frequency Coding (OFC) technology on a Langasite substrate has been investigated. Second order transmission matrix models have been developed and verified. A new parameterizable library of SAW components was created to automate the layout process. Using these new tools, a SAW strain sensor with OFC reflectors was designed, fabricated and tested. The Langasite coefficients of velocity for strain (γS = 1.699) and Temperature (γT = 2.562) were experimentally determined. The strain and temperature characterization of this strain sensor, along with the coefficients of velocity, have been used to demonstrate both the ability to sense strain and the capability for temperature compensation. The temperature-compensated SAW OFC strain sensor has been used to detect anomalous strain conditions that are indicators of fastener failures during structural health monitoring of aircraft panels with and without noise on a NASA fastener failure test stand. The changes in strain that are associated with single fastener failures were measured up to a distance of 80 cm between the sensor and the removed fastener. The SAW OFC strain sensor was demonstrated to act as an impact sensor with and without noise on the fastener failure test stand. The average measured signal to noise ratio (SNR) of 50, is comparable to the 29.1 SNR of an acoustic emission sensor. The simultaneous use of a high pass filter for impact detection, while a low pass filter is used for strain or fastener failure, demonstrates the multifunctional capabilities of the SAW OFC sensor to act as both as a fastener failure detector and as an impact detector.


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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2013

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Engineering Commons