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Smart Wireless Sensors

The Smartbrick System


Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is widely recognized as an information asset capable to bring immediate advantages for the proper conservation of historical structures. Unfortunately very few pieces of the European historical heritage can afford the investment for a traditional “wired” SHM system especially considering the large labor cost needed to run cable connections between the remote sensors and the centralized data acquisition unit.

The recent development of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) addressed to SHM purposes focused on eliminating the wired sensor connections in order to reduce the installation costs. However, even shifting from “wired” systems to WSN, a certain number of costly issues remains unchanged for a typical SHM installation, such as the costs for the network setup and management, for the system integration and for the development of ad-hoc software and web services. In fact, even if WSN enlarged the SHM market segment by lowering the installation costs, automated monitoring still remains above the budget that smaller historical buildings, old structures and archeological sites can reasonably afford.

The development of the Smart Wireless Sensor (Smartbrick) is addressed to close this gap by providing a “black box” SHM unit that requires no additional installation, integration or other accessory cost.




The Smartbrick device integrates all the basic components required to provide SHM on-the-go for a small structure: sensors, log memory, power supply and direct wireless connection to the Internet. The embedded processing resources include a wide range of threshold for fast-reaction warning broadcast.




Although the direct integration of full connectivity resources increase the equipment cost, the huge savings in the installation, system integration, software development and other accessory costs make the Smartbrick system extremely competitive for installations of few - or even a single - sensor node, such as the small historical buildings, old structures and archeological sites that constitute the larger part of the European historical and architectural heritage.

Depending on the required performances, the Smartbrick device can provide up to 3,5 years of autonomy with its own embedded batteries, and includes an embedded battery charger to extend the battery life when a suitable external power source, such as a 0.15m2 solar panel) is available. The embedded sensors comprise hi-stability bi-axial inclination sensors for long-term evaluation of settlements, tri-axial accelerometers for capturing and analyzing vibrations, temperature and humidity sensor for monitoring the environmental conditions. In addition to embedded sensors, the Smartbrick device provides a number of pre-conditioned inputs where other specific additional sensors can be directly connected without any additional adaptor or conditioning unit: crack gauges, displacement gauges, light, wind and moisture sensors, strain gauges and load cells. Thanks to the embedded quad-band GPRS cell-phone modem, the Smartbrick device connects directly to the Internet without any wired connection and is capable to autonomously broadcast data and messages through FTP, SMTP (email) and SMS protocols.

Multi-purpose web services including database management and graphical user interface are available with the device.




The devices comes pre-configured from the factory according to the customer requirement and is ready to be installed (with a couple of common faster or two points of glue) and activated by simply removing the shipping seal. Without any additional system integration or web development cost, the device is immediately operative and broadcasts the acquired data to the pre-configured web servers, email addresses and SMS cell-phones. Manual operations such as changes on-the-fly or sensor check are possible on the field using the embedded display and user interface, and they are possible remotely as well through point-to-point data call or command scripts.





Created by: admin. Last Modification: Monday 13 of February, 2012 14:12:03 CET by admin.