Alex Liu, Yunhao Liu, and Guoming G. Zhu receive NSF grant

Alex X. Liu (PI), Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Yunhao Liu (Co-PI), Chair and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Guoming G. Zhu (Co-PI), Professor of Mechanical Engineering, have been awarded an NSF grant titled "Mechanical Vibration Based Prognostic Monitoring of Machinery Health with Sub-millisecond Accuracy Using Backscatter Signals".

Machine failure may have devastating safety issues and far-reaching environmental impacts. Prognostic monitoring of machinery health aims to detect the mechanical condition degradation of a running machine that may lead to machine failure and downtime. There are typically a series of four warning signs of a potential machine failure: vibration, noise, heat, and smoke. Abnormal vibrations are the first warning sign that a machine is experiencing problems that may lead to a disastrous failure.

This project aims to develop non-intrusive (i.e., requiring no built-in sensors and no modifications for the machines that are under monitoring) and universal vibration sensing schemes that can detect the abnormal vibrations of a running machine. Towards this goal, the PIs propose VTag, a system that first uses the backscatter signals in Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) RFID systems to accurately measure machine vibrations, and then uses machine learning and signal processing techniques to detect abnormal machine vibration patterns so that machine operators can be alarmed to take actions to fix the machine before it fails. This project represents an emerging space driving new CPS and Internet of Things concepts for machinery safety. The VTag system will have far-reaching impact on U.S. manufacturing and economy. It can be used for the prognostic monitoring of not only indoor machines, but also outdoor appliances and civil infrastructures, such as drilling system monitoring, pumping system monitoring, pipeline system monitoring, and bridge monitoring. This project will bridge the communities between Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering; and foster interaction and communication among them.

(Date Posted: 2018-09-14)