Health assessment at local level with unknown input excitation

Masan Katkhuda, Rene Martinez, Achintya Haldar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


A finite-element-based procedure is proposed to identify defects in existing structures and evaluate their extent at the local element level for the purpose of health assessment. The procedure is a time-domain system identification technique where input excitation is not required to identify a structure. It estimates the dynamic properties of a structure in terms of stiffness and damping at the element level in a finite-element representation. The method can be used to precisely locate a defective spot in an element. Although input excitation information is not required, examples are used to show that the algorithm is robust enough to identify a structure excited by different types of loading. Structures can be excited simultaneously by multiple loadings, and the response information can be noise-free or noise-contaminated. Defects can be small or relatively large. In all cases, the algorithm identified the structures correctly. The error in the identification is considerably smaller than that of other available methods where input excitation information is used to identify a structure. With the help of examples, it is shown that the algorithm can potentially be used as a nondestructive evaluation technique for health assessment of existing structures with minimum disruption of operations. Since the procedure is very simple and requires only a few seconds of response information, it is expected to be very economical and efficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-965
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Damage assessment
  • Excitation
  • Finite elements
  • Structural safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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