Dimensionality Reduction in Modal Analysis for Structural Health Monitoring

Autonomous structural health monitoring (SHM) of many structures and bridges became a topic of paramount importance for maintenance purposes and safety reasons. This paper proposes a set of machine learning (ML) tools to perform automatic feature selection and detection of anomalies in a bridge from vibrational data and compare different feature extraction schemes to increase the accuracy and reduce the amount of data collected. As a case study, the Z-24 bridge is considered because of the extensive database of accelerometric data in both standard and damaged conditions. The proposed framework starts from the first four fundamental frequencies extracted through operational modal analysis (OMA) and clustering, followed by time-domain filtering (tracking). The fundamental frequencies extracted are then fed to a dimensionality reduction block implemented through two different approaches: feature selection (intelligent multiplexer) that tries to estimate the most reliable frequencies based on the evaluation of some statistical features (i.e., entropy, variance, kurtosis), and feature extraction (auto-associative neural network (ANN)) that combine the fundamental frequencies to extract new damage sensitive features in a low dimensional feature space. Finally, one-class classification (OCC) algorithms perform anomaly detection, trained with standard condition points, and tested with normal and anomaly ones. In particular, principal component analysis (PCA), kernel principal component analysis (KPCA), and autoassociative neural network (ANN) are presented and their performance are compared. It is also shown that, by evaluating the correct features, the anomaly can be detected with accuracy and an F1 score greater than 95%.

Lamb Wave Wireless Communication in Healthy Plates Using Coherent Demodulation

Guided ultrasonic waves are used in Non-Destructive Testing and Structural Health Monitoring for inspection and damage detection. Recently, wireless data transmission using ultrasonic waves in solid metallic channels has gained popularity in some industrial applications such as nuclear, aerospace and smart vehicles. The idea is to find a good substitute for electromagnetic waves since they are highly attenuated near metallic components due to Faraday shielding. The proposed solution is to use ultrasonic guided waves such as Lamb waves as an information carrier due to their capability of propagation for long distances. In addition to this, valuable information about the health of the structure could be extracted simultaneously. In this work, the reliable frequency bandwidth for communication is extracted experimentally from dispersion curves at first. Then, an experimental platform for wireless communication using Lamb waves is described and built. After this, coherent demodulation algorithm used in telecommunications is tested for Amplitude Shift Keying, On-Off Keying and Binary Phase Shift Keying modulation techniques. Signal processing parameters such as threshold choice, number of cycles per bit and Bit Rate are optimized. Experimental results are compared based on the average bit error percentage. Results has shown high sensitivity to threshold selection for Amplitude Shift Keying and On-Off Keying techniques resulting a Bit Rate decrease. Binary Phase Shift Keying technique shows the highest stability and data rate between all tested modulation techniques.

A Visual Analytics Tool for the Structural Health Monitoring of an Aircraft Panel

Aerospace, mechanical, and civil engineering infrastructures can take advantages from damage detection and identification strategies in terms of maintenance cost reduction and operational life improvements, as well for safety scopes. The challenge is to detect so called “barely visible impact damage” (BVID), due to low/medium energy impacts, that can progressively compromise the structure integrity. The occurrence of any local change in material properties, that can degrade the structure performance, is to be monitored using so called Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems, in charge of comparing the structure states before and after damage occurs. SHM seeks for any "anomalous" response collected by means of sensor networks and then analyzed using appropriate algorithms. Independently of the specific analysis approach adopted for structural damage detection and localization, textual reports, tables and graphs describing possible outlier coordinates and damage severity are usually provided as artifacts to be elaborated for information extraction about the current health conditions of the structure under investigation. Visual Analytics can support the processing of monitored measurements offering data navigation and exploration tools leveraging the native human capabilities of understanding images faster than texts and tables. Herein, a SHM system enrichment by integration of a Visual Analytics component is investigated. Analytical dashboards have been created by combining worksheets, so that a useful Visual Analytics tool is provided to structural analysts for exploring the structure health conditions examined by a Principal Component Analysis based algorithm.

Application of Transform Fourier for Dynamic Control of Structures with Global Positioning System

Given the evolution of viaducts, structural health monitoring requires more complex techniques to define their state. two alternatives can be distinguished: experimental and operational modal analysis. Although accelerometers or Global Positioning System (GPS) have been applied for the monitoring of structures under exploitation, the dynamic monitoring during the stage of construction is not common. This research analyzes whether GPS data can be applied to certain dynamic geometric controls of evolving structures. The fundamentals of this work were applied to the New Bridge of Cádiz (Spain), a worldwide milestone in bridge building. GPS data were recorded with an interval of 1 second during the erection of segments and turned to the frequency domain with Fourier transform. The vibration period and amplitude were contrasted with those provided by the finite element model, with differences of less than 10%, which is admissible. This process provides a vibration record of the structure with GPS, avoiding specific equipment.

MIMO Radar-Based System for Structural Health Monitoring and Geophysical Applications

The paper presents a methodology for real-time structural health monitoring and geophysical applications. The key elements of the system are a high performance MIMO RADAR sensor, an optical camera and a dedicated set of software algorithms encompassing interferometry, tomography and photogrammetry. The MIMO Radar sensor proposed in this work, provides an extremely high sensitivity to displacements making the system able to react to tiny deformations (up to tens of microns) with a time scale which spans from milliseconds to hours. The MIMO feature of the system makes the system capable of providing a set of two-dimensional images of the observed scene, each mapped on the azimuth-range directions with noticeably resolution in both the dimensions and with an outstanding repetition rate. The back-scattered energy, which is distributed in the 3D space, is projected on a 2D plane, where each pixel has as coordinates the Line-Of-Sight distance and the cross-range azimuthal angle. At the same time, the high performing processing unit allows to sense the observed scene with remarkable refresh periods (up to milliseconds), thus opening the way for combined static and dynamic structural health monitoring. Thanks to the smart TX/RX antenna array layout, the MIMO data can be processed through a tomographic approach to reconstruct the three-dimensional map of the observed scene. This 3D point cloud is then accurately mapped on a 2D digital optical image through photogrammetric techniques, allowing for easy and straightforward interpretations of the measurements. Once the three-dimensional image is reconstructed, a 'repeat-pass' interferometric approach is exploited to provide the user of the system with high frequency three-dimensional motion/vibration estimation of each point of the reconstructed image. At this stage, the methodology leverages consolidated atmospheric correction algorithms to provide reliable displacement and vibration measurements.

A Procedure for Post-Earthquake Damage Estimation Based on Detection of High-Frequency Transients

In the current research structural health monitoring is considered for addressing the critical issue of post-earthquake damage detection. A non-standard approach for damage detection via acoustic emission is presented - acoustic emissions are monitored in the low frequency range (up to 120 Hz). Such emissions are termed high-frequency transients. Further a damage indicator defined as the Time-Ratio Damage Indicator is introduced. The indicator relies on time-instance measurements of damage initiation and deformation peaks. Based on the time-instance measurements a procedure for estimation of the maximum drift ratio is proposed. Monitoring data is used from a shaking-table test of a full-scale reinforced concrete bridge pier. Damage of the experimental column is successfully detected and the proposed damage indicator is calculated.

Measurement of Temperature, Humidity and Strain Variation Using Bragg Sensor

Measurement and monitoring of temperature, humidity and strain variation are very requested in great fields and areas such as structural health monitoring (SHM) systems. Currently, the use of fiber Bragg grating sensors (FBGS) is very recommended in SHM systems due to the specifications of these sensors. In this paper, we present the theory of Bragg sensor, therefore we try to measure the efficient variation of strain, temperature and humidity (SV, ST, SH) using Bragg sensor. Thus, we can deduce the fundamental relation between these parameters and the wavelength of Bragg sensor.

A Detection Method of Faults in Railway Pantographs Based on Dynamic Phase Plots

Systems for detection of damages in railway pantographs effectively reduce the cost of maintenance and improve time scheduling. In this paper, we present an approach to design a monitoring tool fitting strong customer requirements such as portability and ease of use. Pantograph has been modeled to estimate its dynamical properties, since no data are available. With the aim to focus on suspensions health, a two Degrees of Freedom (DOF) scheme has been adopted. Parameters have been calculated by means of analytical dynamics. A Finite Element Method (FEM) modal analysis verified the former model with an acceptable error. The detection strategy seeks phase-plots topology alteration, induced by defects. In order to test the suitability of the method, leakage in the dashpot was simulated on the lumped model. Results are interesting because changes in phase plots are more appreciable than frequency-shift. Further calculations as well as experimental tests will support future developments of this smart strategy.

Kalman Filter Design in Structural Identification with Unknown Excitation

This article is about first step of structural health monitoring by identifying structural system in the presence of unknown input. In the structural system identification, identification of structural parameters such as stiffness and damping are considered. In this study, the Kalman filter (KF) design for structural systems with unknown excitation is expressed. External excitations, such as earthquakes, wind or any other forces are not measured or not available. The purpose of this filter is its strengths to estimate the state variables of the system in the presence of unknown input. Also least squares estimation (LSE) method with unknown input is studied. Estimates of parameters have been adopted. Finally, using two examples advantages and drawbacks of both methods are studied.

Structural Health Monitoring of Buildings and Infrastructure

Structures such as buildings, bridges, dams, wind turbines etc. need to be maintained against various factors such as deterioration, excessive loads, environment, temperature, etc. Choosing an appropriate monitoring system is important for determining any critical damage to a structure and address that to avoid any adverse consequence. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) has emerged as an effective technique to monitor the health of the structures. SHM refers to an ongoing structural performance assessment using different kinds of sensors attached to or embedded in the structures to evaluate their integrity and safety to help engineers decide on rehabilitation measures. Ability of SHM in identifying the location and severity of structural damages by considering any changes in characteristics of the structures such as their frequency, stiffness and mode shapes helps engineers to monitor the structures and take the most effective corrective actions to maintain their safety and extend their service life. The main objective of this study is to review the overall SHM process specifically determining the natural frequency of an instrumented simply-supported concrete beam using modal testing and finite element model updating.

Self-Sensing Concrete Nanocomposites for Smart Structures

In the field of civil engineering, Structural Health Monitoring is a topic of growing interest. Effective monitoring instruments permit the control of the working conditions of structures and infrastructures, through the identification of behavioral anomalies due to incipient damages, especially in areas of high environmental hazards as earthquakes. While traditional sensors can be applied only in a limited number of points, providing a partial information for a structural diagnosis, novel transducers may allow a diffuse sensing. Thanks to the new tools and materials provided by nanotechnology, new types of multifunctional sensors are developing in the scientific panorama. In particular, cement-matrix composite materials capable of diagnosing their own state of strain and tension, could be originated by the addition of specific conductive nanofillers. Because of the nature of the material they are made of, these new cementitious nano-modified transducers can be inserted within the concrete elements, transforming the same structures in sets of widespread sensors. This paper is aimed at presenting the results of a research about a new self-sensing nanocomposite and about the implementation of smart sensors for Structural Health Monitoring. The developed nanocomposite has been obtained by inserting multi walled carbon nanotubes within a cementitious matrix. The insertion of such conductive carbon nanofillers provides the base material with piezoresistive characteristics and peculiar sensitivity to mechanical modifications. The self-sensing ability is achieved by correlating the variation of the external stress or strain with the variation of some electrical properties, such as the electrical resistance or conductivity. Through the measurement of such electrical characteristics, the performance and the working conditions of an element or a structure can be monitored. Among conductive carbon nanofillers, carbon nanotubes seem to be particularly promising for the realization of self-sensing cement-matrix materials. Some issues related to the nanofiller dispersion or to the influence of the nano-inclusions amount in the cement matrix need to be carefully investigated: the strain sensitivity of the resulting sensors is influenced by such factors. This work analyzes the dispersion of the carbon nanofillers, the physical properties of the fresh dough, the electrical properties of the hardened composites and the sensing properties of the realized sensors. The experimental campaign focuses specifically on their dynamic characterization and their applicability to the monitoring of full-scale elements. The results of the electromechanical tests with both slow varying and dynamic loads show that the developed nanocomposite sensors can be effectively used for the health monitoring of structures.

A Prediction Model for Dynamic Responses of Building from Earthquake Based on Evolutionary Learning

The seismic responses-based structural health monitoring system has been performed to prevent seismic damage. Structural seismic damage of building is caused by the instantaneous stress concentration which is related with dynamic characteristic of earthquake. Meanwhile, seismic response analysis to estimate the dynamic responses of building demands significantly high computational cost. To prevent the failure of structural members from the characteristic of the earthquake and the significantly high computational cost for seismic response analysis, this paper presents an artificial neural network (ANN) based prediction model for dynamic responses of building considering specific time length. Through the measured dynamic responses, input and output node of the ANN are formed by the length of specific time, and adopted for the training. In the model, evolutionary radial basis function neural network (ERBFNN), that radial basis function network (RBFN) is integrated with evolutionary optimization algorithm to find variables in RBF, is implemented. The effectiveness of the proposed model is verified through an analytical study applying responses from dynamic analysis for multi-degree of freedom system to training data in ERBFNN.

Structural Health Monitoring of Offshore Structures Using Wireless Sensor Networking under Operational and Environmental Variability

The early-stage damage detection in offshore structures requires continuous structural health monitoring and for the large area the position of sensors will also plays an important role in the efficient damage detection. Determining the dynamic behavior of offshore structures requires dense deployment of sensors. The wired Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems are highly expensive and always needs larger installation space to deploy. Wireless sensor networks can enhance the SHM system by deployment of scalable sensor network, which consumes lesser space. This paper presents the results of wireless sensor network based Structural Health Monitoring method applied to a scaled experimental model of offshore structure that underwent wave loading. This method determines the serviceability of the offshore structure which is subjected to various environment loads. Wired and wireless sensors were installed in the model and the response of the scaled BLSRP model under wave loading was recorded. The wireless system discussed in this study is the Raspberry pi board with Arm V6 processor which is programmed to transmit the data acquired by the sensor to the server using Wi-Fi adapter, the data is then hosted in the webpage. The data acquired from the wireless and wired SHM systems were compared and the design of the wireless system is verified.

Structural Damage Detection via Incomplete Modal Data Using Output Data Only

Structural failure is caused mainly by damage that often occurs on structures. Many researchers focus on to obtain very efficient tools to detect the damage in structures in the early state. In the past decades, a subject that has received considerable attention in literature is the damage detection as determined by variations in the dynamic characteristics or response of structures. The study presents a new damage identification technique. The technique detects the damage location for the incomplete structure system using output data only. The method indicates the damage based on the free vibration test data by using ‘Two Points Condensation (TPC) technique’. This method creates a set of matrices by reducing the structural system to two degrees of freedom systems. The current stiffness matrices obtain from optimization the equation of motion using the measured test data. The current stiffness matrices compare with original (undamaged) stiffness matrices. The large percentage changes in matrices’ coefficients lead to the location of the damage. TPC technique is applied to the experimental data of a simply supported steel beam model structure after inducing thickness change in one element, where two cases consider. The method detects the damage and determines its location accurately in both cases. In addition, the results illustrate these changes in stiffness matrix can be a useful tool for continuous monitoring of structural safety using ambient vibration data. Furthermore, its efficiency proves that this technique can be used also for big structures.

The Estimation Method of Stress Distribution for Beam Structures Using the Terrestrial Laser Scanning

This study suggests the estimation method of stress distribution for the beam structures based on TLS (Terrestrial Laser Scanning). The main components of method are the creation of the lattices of raw data from TLS to satisfy the suitable condition and application of CSSI (Cubic Smoothing Spline Interpolation) for estimating stress distribution. Estimation of stress distribution for the structural member or the whole structure is one of the important factors for safety evaluation of the structure. Existing sensors which include ESG (Electric strain gauge) and LVDT (Linear Variable Differential Transformer) can be categorized as contact type sensor which should be installed on the structural members and also there are various limitations such as the need of separate space where the network cables are installed and the difficulty of access for sensor installation in real buildings. To overcome these problems inherent in the contact type sensors, TLS system of LiDAR (light detection and ranging), which can measure the displacement of a target in a long range without the influence of surrounding environment and also get the whole shape of the structure, has been applied to the field of structural health monitoring. The important characteristic of TLS measuring is a formation of point clouds which has many points including the local coordinate. Point clouds are not linear distribution but dispersed shape. Thus, to analyze point clouds, the interpolation is needed vitally. Through formation of averaged lattices and CSSI for the raw data, the method which can estimate the displacement of simple beam was developed. Also, the developed method can be extended to calculate the strain and finally applicable to estimate a stress distribution of a structural member. To verify the validity of the method, the loading test on a simple beam was conducted and TLS measured it. Through a comparison of the estimated stress and reference stress, the validity of the method is confirmed.

A New Damage Identification Strategy for SHM Based On FBGs and Bayesian Model Updating Method

One of the difficulties of the vibration-based damage identification methods is the nonuniqueness of the results of damage identification. The different damage locations and severity may cause the identical response signal, which is even more severe for detection of the multiple damage. This paper proposes a new strategy for damage detection to avoid this nonuniqueness. This strategy firstly determines the approximates damage area based on the statistical pattern recognition method using the dynamic strain signal measured by the distributed fiber Bragg grating, and then accurately evaluates the damage information based on the Bayesian model updating method using the experimental modal data. The stochastic simulation method is then used to compute the high-dimensional integral in the Bayesian problem. Finally, an experiment of the plate structure, simulating one part of mechanical structure, is used to verify the effectiveness of this approach.