Continuous structural health monitoring (SHM) uses permanently mounted sensor networks on critical locations of a structural component. In-situ wired sensors require a large amount of cabling for power and data transfer, which can drive up costs of installation and maintenance. Hence the need for developing wireless sensors for SHM. The major obstacles preventing the widespread use of wireless sensor networks (WSN) for SHM is the availability of portable, low cost, low powered, low footprint, and high SNR based instrumentation. This paper presents a wireless sensor system that could be interfaced with piezoelectric transducers for the identification of anomalous events using ultrasonic techniques. Power aware algorithms are used to coordinate the actuator-sensor network interaction with a central processing server, where appropriate signal processing techniques are used to quantify the damage in terms of severity. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.