Abstract



The modal analysis of a structural system consists on computing its vibrational modes. The experimental way to estimate these modes requires to excite the system with a measured or known input and then to measure the system output at different points using sensors. Finally, system inputs and outputs are used to compute the modes of vibration. When the system refers to large structures like buildings or bridges, the tests have to be performed in situ, so it is not possible to measure system inputs such as wind, traffic,... Even if a known input is applied, the procedure is usually difficult and expensive, and there are still uncontrolled disturbances acting at the time of the test. These facts led to the idea of computing the modes of vibration using only the measured vibrations and regardless of the inputs that originated them, whether they are ambient vibrations (wind, earthquakes, ...) or operational loads (traffic, human loading,...). This procedure is usually called Operational Modal Analysis (OMA), and in general consists on to fit a mathematical model to the measured data assuming the unobserved excitations are realisations of a stationary stochastic process (usually white noise processes). Then, the modes of vibration are computed from the estimated model. The first issue investigated in this thesis is the performance of the ExpectationMaximisation (EM) algorithm for the maximum likelihood estimation of the state space model in the field of OMA. The algorithm is described in detail and it is analysed how to apply it to vibration data. After that, it is compared to another well known method, the Stochastic Subspace Identification algorithm. The maximum likelihood estimate enjoys some optimal properties from a statistical point of view what makes it very attractive in practice, but the most remarkable property of the EM algorithm is that it can be used to address a wide range of situations in OMA. In this work, three additional state space models are proposed and estimated using the EM algorithm:  The first model is proposed to estimate the modes of vibration when several tests are performed in the same structural system. Instead of analyse record by record and then compute averages, the EM algorithm is extended for the joint estimation of the proposed state space model using all the available data.  The second state space model is used to estimate the modes of vibration when the number of available sensors is lower than the number of points to be tested. In these cases it is usual to perform several tests changing the position of the sensors from one test to the following (multiple setups of sensors). Here, the proposed state space model and the EM algorithm are used to estimate the modal parameters taking into account the data of all setups.  And last, a state space model is proposed to estimate the modes of vibration in the presence of unmeasured inputs that cannot be modelled as white noise processes. In these cases, the frequency components of the inputs cannot be separated from the eigenfrequencies of the system, and spurious modes are obtained in the identification process. The idea is to measure the response of the structure corresponding to different inputs; then, it is assumed that the parameters common to all the data correspond to the structure (modes of vibration), and the parameters found in a specific test correspond to the input in that test. The problem is solved using the proposed state space model and the EM algorithm.  
International

Si 


Type

Doctoral 
Mark Rating

Sobresaliente cum laude 
Date

21/10/2013 