January, 2020 - January, 2020
Condition monitoring of infrastructure, like pipelines and train rails are vital to predict any probable incidents such as, oil spills which can be hazardous to the environment. In crisis times, like Covid-19, it is really hard to collect sensory data physically, consequently data analysis in-site is merely excluded. Alberta has around 422,000 kms of pipelines  with monitoring procedures to predict failure incidents which is essential to maintain pipelines structural integrity. But during covid-19, most companies have replaced in-site procedures by remote ones. For example, Stress Engineering Services Inc. and Enventure companies have implemented new virtual remote smart monitoring procedure during the covid-19 crisis . the objective of this project not just to collect data remotely but to arm the sensor with an ability to judge and predict danger. During the last decade, my group in University of Alberta has developed this sensor for 3d applications and it is accurately functional in predicting stresses.
Piezoresistive materials are offering a linear relation between resistance change and mechanical deformation.
Piezoresistive semiconductor MEMS strain gauges have the supremacy over other strain gauge types, like the foil based through large resolution and sensitivity, and low nonlinearity and hysteresis . But, the more valuable advantage is minimum power consumption the sensor need while operating through wireless circuits or antenna. This should provide efficient, trust-able and reliable Self monitored sensors not only for pipelines conditions but also for the oil sands mining equipment and oil and gas transportation infrastructure in Alberta and Canada. The knowledge and experience gained in this project will help in building a telemetry monitoring network in Alberta and Canada with a strong knowledge-base for MEMS devices fabrication, testing, and operation which adds to the Canadian scientific and engineering foundation. The different facilities available in University of Alberta, like Nano Characterization and Fabrication (Nano fab.) and our group lab which contiain all the equipments and tools neede to fulfill the objective of the proposed project.
The impact of this study will change the point of view towards smart sensors. But, the main goal is design and fabrication of a smart self-monitored (smart) 3D piezoresistive sensor by using the out of plane stress component to regulate the in-plane stress values under harsh environmental conditions. The following are the project objectives:
1- Design and fabrication of a MEMS-based piezoresistive 3D stress/strain sensing chip that provides a
real-time evaluation of the six stress/strain components with self monitoring capability.
2- connect the sensor to an artificial neural network (ANN) to calibrate it's own data without the need of human interference,
3- Developing a reliable source to power the sensor during service (ex. using the fluid moving through a pipeline to harness energy as a power source for the sensor.
4- Testing of the packaged sensor of stress and strain components with change in time.