In this paper, a new design for microstrip patch antenna strain sensors is proposed. The new antenna sensor works based on the meandered microstrip patch antennas. It is threefold more sensitive than previously proposed circular microstrip patch antenna strain sensors. Also, the overall physical dimension of the new antenna sensor is reduced by the factor of five. The current sensor is able to detect strain in all directions. In order to design the antenna sensor, two available commercial FEM software packages ANSYS™ and HFSS™ are used. Both experimental and FEM results corroborate the multidirectional feature of the new antenna sensor. Also, the effect of the hole size in the structure (for coaxial connection to the antenna) on the antenna performance has been studied. Based on the results obtained, the antenna sensor can be recommended for use in structural health monitoring for strain-based damage detection in aerospace structures.

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