- Published: 10 April 2020 10 April 2020
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a two-year, $1.4 million grant to UMass Lowell‘s Mechanical Engineering Assist. Prof. Murat Inalpolat to develop and test a new, sound-based sensor system for monitoring the structural health and integrity of wind turbine blades.
The system will use low-cost, low-maintenance wireless microphones mounted inside the blade’s structural cavity to passively monitor blade damage, while wireless speakers inside the cavity, along with a nearby external microphone, will be used for active monitoring. Blade damage will manifest itself in changes to the cavity’s frequency response functions and to the drop in sound level across the composite structure. Overall, Inalpolat has received about $2.5 million in funding for his acoustic research. In addition to the $1.4 million from the DOE, he was awarded about $1.1 million by the National Science Foundation, the university’s WindSTAR Center, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and internal grants.