Damage localization under ambient vibration using changes in flexibility

Yong Gao, B. F. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) has emerged as a new research area in civil engineering. Most existing health monitoring methodologies require direct measurement of input excitation for implementation. However, in many cases, there is no easy way to measure these inputs - or alternatively to externally excite the structure. Therefore, SHM methods based on ambient vibration have become important in civil engineering. In this paper, an approach is proposed based on the Damage Location Vector (DLV) method to handle the ambient vibration case. Here, this flexibility-matrix-based damage localization method is combined with a modal expansion technique to eliminate the need to measure the input excitation. As a by-product of this approach, in addition to determining the location of the damage, an estimate of the damage extent also can be determined. Finally, a numerical example analyzing a truss structure with limited sensors and noisy measurement is provided to verify the efficacy of the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2002


  • Damage location vector method
  • Eigenvalue realization algorithm
  • Flexibility matrix
  • Modal expansion
  • Natural excitation technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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