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NOVA shape sensing

NOVA-Shape Sensing is a patented application that allow to track the displacements and so the deformation of surfaces on where applied.
This special sensing technique has immense potential in term of variety of applications and it is a game changer in the field of real time structures monitoring.

NOVA-Shape Sensing allows the curvature, and therefore the shape, of the structure to which is attached, to be followed through space and permits the determination of displacements from the curvature measurements. NOVA-Shape Sensing technique is based on evaluating the effects due to differential strain as a result of curvature within the sensor. In addition to direct NOVA-Shape Sensing technique, there are also indirect NOVA-Strain sensors that may be used to deduce the shape of a structure using a number of strain measurements at strategic locations, processed with the help of a detailed mechanical model of the structure using strain-deformation conversion methods.

A key advantage of NOVA-Shape Sensing compared to NOVA-Strain sensors methods is that the measurand, curvature-induced differential strain, is determined directly within the NOVA-Shape Sensing. Therefore this only requires the NOVA-Shape Sensing to follow the shape of the object under test, removing the need for fully established strain transfer between the sensor and the test object, significantly simplifying the sensor attachment, especially for embedded applications. Also, compared to NOVA-Strain sensors indirect shape reconstruction method, temperature sensitivity is greatly reduced in NOVA-Shape Sensing due to the differential nature of the measurement. If the NOVA-Shape Sensing can be assumed to be at equal temperature or even thermally coupled, any temperature-induced drift in the measurement will cancel out during the differential strain calculation.

The shape sensing can be:
  • 2D: curve deformation tracking on a plane
  • 3D: curve deformation tracking in space
Here NOVA-Shape Sensing technique is compared to indirect NOVA-Strain sensing technique in the specific application of surface deformations monitoring of a cantilever beam.

NOVA-Shape Sensing output is the displacement δ of the segments ends. The sensor can be positioned to beam top, lower or side surface. These outputs gives the full curve that the component is describing on a plane (NOVA-2D), in space (NOVA-3D) without any calibration on the component.
Indirect NOVA-Strain sensing technique measure strain as dL derivation.
The beam deformation δ is post calculated and it is function of the boundary conditions the beam structural properties (section, length, material).
NOVA shape sensing
NOVA shape sensing


Sensor accuracy is a complicate function of the parameters that characterise the sensor construction, the algorithm that interpolates the output from the sensor and the hardware performance.
The graph below is the error function in measuring the bending δz in a cantilever using a NOVA-2D (or 3D).
NOVA shape sensing