The technique of determination of structural parameters from forced vibration testing
This thesis details the results of an investigation into a technique for determination of "useful" structural parameters from forced vibration testing. The implementation of this technique to full scale civil engineering structures was achieved by several developments in the experimental and computational fronts: a vibration generator and a computer-aided-testing system for the former and two computational algorithms for the latter. The experimental developments are instrumental to exciting large structures and acquisition of large quantities of useful data in digital format. These data serve as inputs to the computational algorithms whose outputs are structural parameters. These parameters are in either modal or spatial forms which cannot be measured directly but have to be extracted from the raw data. The modal-parameter-extraction method is based on direct Least-Square fitting technique and is simple to implement. The technique can yield good accuracy if the residual effects from out-of-range modes are removed from the raw data before fitting. The spatial-parameter- extraction method distinguishes itself from other conventional methods in the way that the orthogonality property is not explicitly used. This method is applicable to situations where conventional methods are not; i.e. in cases if modal matrices are not square. Some success was achieved in cases in which computer synthesized or good quality laboratory test data were used. Full scale field tests of a tall office block and a slender tower were carried out and their modal models obtained. Attempts to obtain spatial models of these structures were not carried out, however, as this task can be a separate research topic in its own right. Further research in such application is still required.