The design and calibration of instrumented particles for assessing water infrastructure hazards

Al-Obaidi, K., Xu, Y. and Valyrakis, M. (2020) The design and calibration of instrumented particles for assessing water infrastructure hazards. Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks, 9(3), 36. (doi: 10.3390/jsan9030036)

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The highly dynamical entrainment and transport processes of solids due to geophysical flows is a major challenge studied by water infrastructure engineers and geoscientists alike. A miniaturised instrumented particle that can provide a direct, non-intrusive, low-cost and accessible method compared to traditional approaches for the assessment of coarse sediment particle entrainment is developed, calibrated and tested. The instrumented particle presented here is fitted with inertial microelectromechanical sensors (MEMSs), such as a triaxial accelerometer, a magnetometer and angular displacement sensors, which enable the recording of the particle’s three-dimensional displacement. The sensor logs nine-axis data at a configurable rate of 200–1000 Hz and has a standard mode of deployment time of at least one hour. The data can be obtained and safely stored in an internal memory unit and are downloadable to a PC in an accessible manner and in a usable human-readable state. A plethora of improved design specifications have been implemented herein, including increased frequency, range and resolution of acceleration and gyroscopic sensing. Improvements in terms of power consumption, in comparison to previous designs, ensure longer periods of data logging. The embedded sensors are calibrated using simple physical motions to validate their operation. The uncertainties in the experiments and the sensors’ readings are quantified and an appropriate filter is used for inertial sensor fusion and noise reduction. The instrumented particle is tested under well-controlled lab conditions, where the beginning of the destabilisation of a bed surface in an open channel flow, is showcased. This is demonstrative of the potential that specifically designed and appropriately calibrated instrumented particles have in assessing the initiation and occurrence of water infrastructure hazards.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was supported by the Royal Society (Research Grant RG2015 R1 68793/1) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (Crucible Award).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Al-Obaidi, Mr Khaldoon and Xu, Yi and Valyrakis, Dr Manousos
Creator Roles:
Valyrakis, M.Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Supervision, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Al-Obaidi, K.Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Software, Validation, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Xu, Y.Data curation, Investigation, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Al-Obaidi, K., Xu, Y., and Valyrakis, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
Journal Name:Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks
ISSN (Online):2224-2708
Published Online:30 July 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks 9(3): 36
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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