Output-Only Modal Parameter Estimation Using a Continuously Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometer System with Application to Structural Damage Detection

  • Y. F. Xu
  • Da-Ming Chen
  • W. D. ZhuEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


Spatially dense vibration measurement can be obtained by use of a continuously scanning laser Doppler vibrometer (CSLDV) system that sweeps its laser spot along a scan path. For a linear, time-invariant, viscously damped structure undergoing free vibration, a new type of vibration shapes called free response shapes was defined and obtained by the authors using a CSLDV system with the demodulation method. To date, application of free response shapes is limited to structural damage identification, and they cannot be directly used for model validation while mode shapes can be. This paper extends the concept of free response shapes by proposing a new output-only modal parameter estimation (OMPE) method using a CSLDV system to estimate modal parameters of the structure undergoing free vibration, including natural frequencies, modal damping ratios, and mode shapes. Advantages of the proposed method are: (1) modal damping ratios and mode shapes can be accurately estimated from obtained free response shapes, (2) the scanning frequency of the CSLDV system can be relatively low, and (3) estimated mode shapes can be used for structural damage identification as if they were measured by stepped scanning of a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer. A baseline-free method is applied to identify structural damage using mode shapes estimated by the proposed OMPE method. The analytical expression of free response shapes of the structure is derived, based on which the OMPE method is proposed and presented as a step-by-step procedure. In the proposed OMPE method, natural frequencies of the structure are identified from free response of certain fixed points on the structure; its modal damping ratios and mode shapes are simultaneously estimated using free response shapes measured by a CSLDV system. A numerical investigation is conducted to study the OMPE method and its application to baseline-free damage identification with mode shapes estimated by the OMPE method.


Continuously scanning laser Doppler vibrometer system Modal parameter estimation Output-only method Baseline-free structural damage identification Demodulation method 



The authors are grateful for the financial support from the National Science Foundation through Grant Nos. CMMI-1335024, CMMI-1763024, CMMI-1762917 and the College of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County through a Strategic Plan Implementation Grant. The first author is also grateful for the faculty startup support from the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Cincinnati.


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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Materials EngineeringUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MarylandBaltimoreUSA

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