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This paper addresses recent efforts at the NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field relating to the set-up and assessment of electro-mechanical (E/M) impedance based structural health monitoring. The overall aim is the application of the impedance based technique to aeronautic and space based structural components. As initial steps, a laboratory was created, software written, and experiments conducted on aluminum plates in undamaged and damaged states. A simulated crack, in the form of a narrow notch at various locations, was analyzed using piezoelectric-ceramic (PZT: lead, zirconate, titarate) patches as impedance measuring transducers. Descriptions of the impedance quantifying hardware and software are provided as well as experimental results. In summary, an impedance based health monitoring system was assembled and tested. The preliminary data showed that the impedance based technique was successful in recognizing the damage state of notched aluminum plates.


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