OUTPUT-ONLY ANALYSIS FOR EXPERIMENTAL DAMAGE DETECTION OF A TIED-ARCH BRIDGE
In civil engineering it is very difficult and often expensive to excite constructions such as bridges and buildings with an impulse hammer or shaker. This problem can be avoided with the output-only method as special feature of stochastic system identification. The permanently existing ambient noise (e.g. wind, traffic, waves) is sufficient to excite the structures in their operational conditions. The output-only method is able to estimate the observable part of a state-space-model which contains the dynamic characteristics of the measured mechanical system. Because of the assumption that the ambient excitation is white there is no requirement to measure the input. Another advantage of the output-only method is the possibility to get high detailed models by a special method, called polyreference setup. To pretend the availability of a much larger set of sensors the data from varying sensor locations will be collected. Several successive data sets are recorded with sensors at different locations (moving sensors) and fixed locations (reference sensors). The covariance functions of the reference sensors are bases to normalize the moving sensors. The result of the following subspace-based system identification is a high detailed black-box-model that contains the weighting function including the well-known dynamic parameters eigenfrequencies and mode shapes of the mechanical system. Emphasis of this lecture is the presentation of an extensive damage detection experiment. A 53-year old prestressed concrete tied-arch-bridge in Hünxe (Germany) was deconstructed in 2005. Preliminary numerous vibration measurements were accomplished. The first experiment for system modification was an additional support near the bridge bearing of one main girder. During a further experiment one hanger from one tied arch was cut through as an induced damage. Some first outcomes of the described experiments will be presented.