Output-only structural damage detection based on transmissibility measurements and kernel principal component analysis
Frequency response functions have been employed as damage-sensitive features in the vibration-based structural damage detection. However, the need for measuring the excitation forces arises as a remarkable limitation on the application of those features in real-world applications. As an alternative, transmissibility measurements can be explored as features with output-only nature, which implies the need for measuring only the response signals. In this paper, an output-only damage detection method is proposed, combining transmissibilities with kernel principal component analysis (KPCA). This technique is based on the pattern recognition paradigm for structural health monitoring, where feature extraction and feature classification phases are considered. In the first phase, the dimensionality of the transmissibilities is appropriately reduced by applying the KPCA algorithm. In the second phase, an outlier detection strategy is used to determine the condition of the instrumented structure. The possibility of clustering in the high-dimensional space mapped by KPCA is also reported and discussed. The proposed method is experimentally validated with transmissibilities acquired, under distinct structural conditions, from a laboratory steel beam instrumented with several accelerometers. The results demonstrate that the output-only method has high potential to be applied in a wide range of monitoring solutions, where economic issues and life-safety are primary motivations.
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