Smart System or Structure
What is a Smart Structure?
A smart structure is a system containing multifunctional parts that can perform sensing, control, and actuation; it is a primitive analogue of a biological body. Smart materials are used to construct these smart structures which can perform both sensing and actuation functions.
If truly smart, these intelligent systems can determine their present state, decide what is the optimum or more desirable state and carry out an appropriate response in a controlled and timely manner, that is, a smart structure has the capability to respond to a changing external environment (such as loads and shape change) as well as to a changing internal environment (such as damage or failure).
Smart systems are defined as ensembles whose dynamic can be monitored or modified by distributed sensors and actuators, in accordance with an integrated control law, to accommodate time-varying exogenous inputs or changing environmental conditions.
Smart Material Based Systems (SMBS) are defined as electro-mechanical systems integrated with sensing, actuating, control and computational functions provided by such materials. Through system integration and compact design, systems with less complexity, lower cost and higher reliability can be built.
Smart materials are those that receive, transmit or process a stimulus and respond by producing a “useful” reversible effect. They are often also called “responsive” or “intelligent” materials and depending on changes in some external conditions or the type of stimuli, "responsive" materials change their properties (mechanical, electrical, appearance), their structure or composition, and/or their functions.
What is a Smart Material?
A smart material prepared by the university of Michigan.
The last 30 years, scientist and technologist have made amazing developments on the design and integration of electronic and machinery using conventional materials. Now, new possibilities in engineering design with higher levels of functionality are being created by (a) the development of new "responsive" materials; (b) the awareness of their capabilities and (c) the control on the minutarization process.
An important feature of the technology of smart materials and structures is that it facilitates the integration of important core engineering concepts such as design and manufacture, materials science, sensor and actuator technology, information/signal processing, modeling, etc. The aim of these integrations is to transform passive structures into active ones. It makes use of physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer science, materials science, electrical, and mechanical engineering knowledge.
The design of these structures with higher levels of functionality is changing the traditional practices in all engineering disciplines. For the design, analysis and manufacturing of these active systems is necessary to integrate basic engineering concepts and directed towards specific products (product realization) using a strong multidisciplinary approach. It necessitates of human creativity and innovative ideas to serve human society for such tasks as making cars safer, a more comfortable airplane, a self-repair water pipe, etc.
Smart structures can help us to control the environment better and to increase the energy efficiency of devices. It's important that we understand that in the manner that we created the structures of a Smart Material is going to be the results that we will obtain from it. The Smart Materials and Smart Structures are also very challenging, because they combine the better parts of Science and also requires a lot of knowledge to can work on it.
A space structure with impedance monitoring unit
A useful example is during an earthquake, MR fluid inside the dampers will change from solid to liquid and back as tremors activate a magnetic force inside the damper. Using these...
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