A new sensor system is proposed for measuring damage indexes. The damage index is a physical value that is well correlated to a critical damage in a device or a structure. The mechanism proposed here utilizes elastic buckling of a thin wire and does not require any external power supply for memorizing the index. The mechanisms to detect peak strain, peak displacement, peak acceleration and cumulative deformation as examples of damage indexes are presented. Furthermore, passive and active wireless data retrieval mechanisms using electromagnetic induction are proposed. The passive wireless system is achieved by forming a closed LC circuit to oscillate at its natural frequency. The active wireless sensor can transmit the data much further than the passive system at the sacrifice of slightly complicated electric circuit for the sensor. For wireless data retrieval, no wire is needed for the sensor to supply electrical power. For the active system, electrical power is supplied to the sensor by radio waves emitted from the retrieval system. Thus, external power supply is only needed for the retrieval system when the retrieval becomes necessary. Theoretical and experimental studies to show excellent performance of the proposed sensor are presented. Finally, a prototype damage index sensor installed into a 7 storey base-isolated building is explained.
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