In structural health monitoring (SHM), sensors are integrated into a structure to monitor its condition in real time, providing information that is useful for preventive maintenance, for example. For structures like aircraft, nuclear power plants, wind turbines, and bridges—for which inspection creates undesirable downtime or safety hazards—SHM is an ideal strategy. Although SHM research has been intensive over the last twenty years, solutions have only recently begun to reach the market, thanks mostly to advances in digital technology.
In 2020 CEA List, a member of the Carnot Network, created a new research and innovation platform on the CEA Paris-Saclay campus dedicated exclusively to SHM. The idea is to create a space where academic and industrial stakeholders, technology providers, and the end users of SHM solutions can come together.
SACHEMS, which stands for SAClay High-end Equipment for the Monitoring of Structures, is home to workstations with equipment specific to SHM. SHM solutions providers will be able to use the facility for their proof-of-concept prototyping and testing, benefiting from a shared library of mature enabling technologies and, as a result, shorter development cycles. Partners will have access to servers for their computing and database needs, as well as to the most advanced sensor technologies (piezoelectric, magnetostrictive, fiber optic) and sensor networking tools. The platform is also home to design tools (electronics design for embedded systems) and testing facilities (climatic chambers, electronics test benches).
CEA List hopes to bring not-yet-mature SHM technologies to a stage where they can be scaled up and commercialized on a variety of industrial markets. SACHEMS, made possible in part by financing from the Ile-de-France regional government, will help do exactly that.
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