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Radio Frequency Identification Tags Linked to on Board Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems in a Wireless, Remote and Intelligent Monitoring and Assessment System for Maintenance of CONstructed Facilities (MEMSCON)
Start date: Oct 1, 2008, End date: Mar 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Advances in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, in Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), in lower-power wireless networking and in computation give hopes for a new generation of tiny, cheap, networked sensors that can be ‘sprayed’ on buildings to provide quantitative information on the structure’s physical state while in service. This can be used to assess the structural condition and aid decision making on retrofit, refurbishment and maintenance so that safety can be attained and material use and costs can be reduced. The objectives of this work are: 1. To integrate MEMS-based sensors and a RFID tag in a single package of small size that will be attached to concrete buildings to measure acceleration and/or strain that will be transmitted to a remote base station using a wireless interface. 2. To develop a Decision-Support-System (DSS) for proactive remedial measures under operating conditions and rehabilitation after an earthquake damage. 3. To evaluate the system in ‘1’ and the DSS in ‘2’ in a structural laboratory. 4. To field test an integrated package of the system in ‘1’ and the DSS in ‘2’ on an actual building. The proposed system will be used in concrete buildings like schools where information will be sent wirelessly, to a central location (e.g. ministry of education), to be processed. It will result in lower maintenance cost, since problems are cheaper to fix when they first appear, and an increase in safety. The impact on safety will be greater after an earthquake where it is essential to have a quick estimate of the building structural condition. Moreover, it will transform the SME dominated building rehabilitation sector into an advanced knowledge sector, enhance the competitiveness of European SMEs, reduce time to assess the structural condition of a building in service and decide on remedial measures, promote sustainability, offer services with a high value added and enable the entrance of MEMS European SMEs to the large building market.

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