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Automatic localization system reduces testing time for vibrational analysis

Automatic localization system reduces testing time for vibrational analysis

Vibrational analysis and testing is a critical phase during the design and development of mechanical structures like bridges, planes and cars. Siemens Industry Software NV offers vibration testing solutions where up to a thousand accelerometers can be placed on these structures. An essential factor in the interpretation of the test results is the exact positioning of the accelerometers on the structure, i.e. determining the 3D position coordinates of each sensor. Currently the localization measurement is performed with expensive optical equipment or manually and can take up to a week for larger structures such as airplanes.

AnSem, Siemens Industry Software and the other partners in the IWT-SBO project ‘OmniTrack’ developed an automatic localization system that dramatically reduces the testing time as one of the project's use cases.

The basic idea of this so-called “dense mesh” localization system is that all nodes measure the distances to their neighbors. This information is used to calculate the 3D position of all sensors. AnSem developed the hardware, software and algorithms for the intelligent mesh nodes, Siemens Industry Software designed the 3D localization software.

A study of indoor localization techniques in the framework of this project showed that the ultrasound measurement principle is the best candidate for indoor localization in these dense meshes. Ultrasound detection is a technology that is widely used: it combines low cost and simple synchronization with good accuracy.

In the OmniTrack sensor network built by AnSem, each node is equipped with an ultrasound transceiver and an MCU. This node calculates the distance between its neighboring nodes. The transceiver nodes are mounted on mini motors that rotate the transceiver to cover the complete space above the nodes base. The developed algorithm is robust and compact enough to be performed by the basic MCUs on the nodes and to obtain the required cm accuracy.

A central hub transmits the synchronization signals and collects the distance data from the nodes. A central computer equipped with the Siemens 3D localization software reconstructs off-line the 3D locations of the sensors on the structure using a "Dense Mesh Localization Algorithm". To obtain the required cm accuracy, redundancy in the mesh is used. The nodes are localized node per node, based on as many measurements as possible, including newly-localized nodes.

These results were presented on a public workshop, with more than 60 interested attendees, held at ESAT on April 3rd. The consortium of research partners consisted of KULeuven ESAT-MICAS, Flanders Make, Siemens Industry Software and AnSem.


Omnitrack partners


About AnSem

AnSem is Europe's leading fabless analog ASIC design service company, designing and delivering state-of-the-art analog, RF and mixed-signal integrated circuits to customers worldwide. Founded in 1998 and based in Leuven, Belgium, AnSem specializes in the development of advanced integrated circuits for wired and wireless data transmission, sensor data acquisition, ultra low-power and high voltage applications. AnSem is ISO 9001 certified and is a proven and solid development partner for ambitious and visionary customers, reaching for leadership in global markets.

AnSem NV
Esperantolaan 9
3001 Heverlee
Phone: +32 16 38 65 00

About Siemens Industry Software NV

Siemens Industry Software NV is a high-tech company active in test and mechatronic simulation in the automotive, aerospace and other mechanical industries. With a unique combination of mechatronic simulation software, testing systems and engineering services, the company tunes into mission critical engineering attributes, ranging from structural dynamics, noise and vibrations and sound quality to durability, safety and power consumption. The company has 30 years of experience in professional software development, an accredited (ISO 9000) quality assurance process and organization, usability expertise, etc.


Siemens Industry Software NV
Digital Factory
Product Lifecycle Management
Simulation & Test Solutions
Interleuvenlaan 68
B-3001 Leuven (Belgium)
Tel: +32 16 384 200
Fax: +32 16 384 350\plm

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