Methods for Estimating Remaining Life of a Monitored Structure


Executive Summary


Understanding how structures are deteriorating over time is critical to preserving safety and functionality while establishing a cost effective maintenance program. Recently, self-powered sensors have been developed for sensing fatigue in mechanical structures. It is desirable to develop robust data interpretation techniques that are able to use this data to achieve reasonable predictive capabilities regarding the damage to a monitored structure.  This technology allows the determination of damage progression in the monitored structural or mechanical system using only the data that is generated by a self-powered sensing system. The methods also allow the estimation of the remaining useful life of the monitored structure.


Description of Technology


Michigan State University has developed a computer-implemented method estimate the remaining life of a structure being monitored by a sensor. The method receives data from a sensor, where the data is indicative of strain experienced by a structure.  This data is reported as a cumulative distribution function.  A probability density function is extracted from the data received from the sensor.  A damage index for the structure is computed from parameters of the probability density function, where the damage index is indicative of damage to the structure accumulated over time. An estimate of the remaining life of the structure is computed using the damage index.


Key Benefits

  • Determination of damage progression
  • Uses data generated by a self-powered sensing system
  • Estimation of the remaining useful life of the monitored structure.



  • Buildings
  • Roadways
  • Bridges
  • Airplanes


Patent Status: 


Patent Pending US 2014-0257716


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Nizar Lajnef, Mohamed Rhimi


Tech ID: TEC2013-0018


Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Raymond Devito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University