Experimental verification of smart cable damping

Richard E. Christenson, B. F. Spencer, Erik A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stay cables, such as are used in cable-stayed bridges, are prone to vibration due to their low inherent damping characteristics. Transversely attached passive viscous dampers have been implemented in many bridges to dampen such vibration. However, only minimal damping can be added if the attachment point is close to the bridge deck. For longer bridge cables, the relative attachment point becomes increasingly smaller, and passive damping may become insufficient. A recent analytical study by the authors demonstrated that "smart" semiactive damping can provide increased supplemental damping. This paper experimentally verifies a smart damping control strategy employing H2/linear quadratic Gaussian (LQG) clipped optimal control using only force and displacement measurements at the damper for an inclined flat-sag cable. A shear mode magnetorheological fluid damper is attached to a 12.65m inclined flat-sag steel cable to reduce cable vibration. Cable response is seen to be substantially reduced by the smart damper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-278
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Cables
  • Damping
  • Experimentation
  • Structural control
  • Verification
  • Vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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