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SHiMmer hardware

SHiMmer is a standalone embedded system designed for active ultrasonic structural health monitoring (SHM), it comprises three boards: a digital board based on a ADI BlackFin DSP for data analysis and wireless networking running a custom Linux-based OS, an analog board that manages 16 independent channels and generates high-voltage active SHM pulse for the lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) sensors, and a power manager board that collects energy from a solar energy harvester, stores the energy into a Supercapacitor, generates the required power supply rails and manages a Li-Ion battery acting as back-up energy reservoir. The following figure shows SHiMmer architecture diagram.

As seen in the figures above, SHiMmer is composed of several key hardware components. The SHiMmer platform comprises 3 main board:

Digital Board features:

  • ADI Blackfin DSP
  • up to 300MIPS / 600MMACS
  • 64MB of SDRAM &@; 100MHz
  • up to 32GB SD Flash storage
  • adjsutable DSP core frequency 75 ÷ 300 MHz
  • custom µCLinux OS


Analog Board features:

  • 16 independent sensing channels
  • high voltage SHM signal generation, up to 30Vpp
  • SHM response acquisition rate up to 25MSPS
  • high bandwidth amplifying actuation chain
  • low noise amplifiers for data acquisition


Power Board features:

  • high efficiency solar energy harvester
  • 3 independent DC/DC regulator for Digital Board supply
  • high voltage supply module for Analog Board, up to ±18V
  • noise filtering circuits for the high voltage modules
  • 310F &@;5V supercapacitor energy reservoir
  • self managed Li-Ion backup battery