By Jeffrey S. Melville

The goal of this project is to develop a self-powered wireless sensor system to measure the dynamics of helicopter blades. The hardware portion of this project is comprised of two major components. The rst component involves the investigation of power har- vesting techniques in order to power the sensor system using an oscillating piezoelectric element attached to the leading edge of the helicopter blade. The second component of the project is the design and layout of a circuit board that will interface a TI MSP430 microcontroller with a wireless transceiver as well as the desired sensors. As an inter- mediate step, a breakout board will be designed to interface the sensors to a MSP430 development kit. The nal product will be a self contained circuit board that contains the selected power harvesting circuit and the microcontroller hardware. The microcon- troller will execute software developed separately to transmit sensor readings at the fastest interval permitted by the power harvester. This unit will be attached to both experimental and production helicopter blades and improve the ease in acquiring and analyzing data about the blade dynamics for a variety of purposes.

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