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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 15, Number 2, February 2015 , pages 447-468

Investigation of mode identifiability of a cable-stayed bridge: comparison from ambient vibration responses and from typhoon-induced dynamic responses
Y.Q. Ni, Y.W. Wang and Y.X. Xia

    Modal identification of civil engineering structures based on ambient vibration measurement has been widely investigated in the past decades, and a variety of output-only operational modal identification methods have been proposed. However, vibration modes, even fundamental low-order modes, are not always identifiable for large-scale structures under ambient vibration excitation. The identifiability of vibration modes, deficiency in modal identification, and criteria to evaluate robustness of the identified modes when applying output-only modal identification techniques to ambient vibration responses were scarcely studied. In this study, the mode identifiability of the cable-stayed Ting Kau Bridge using ambient vibration measurements and the influence of the excitation intensity on the deficiency and robustness in modal identification are investigated with long-term monitoring data of acceleration responses acquired from the bridge under different excitation conditions. It is observed that a few low-order modes, including the second global mode, are not identifiable by common output-only modal identification algorithms under normal ambient excitations due to traffic and monsoon. The deficient modes can be activated and identified only when the excitation intensity attains a certain level (e.g., during strong typhoons). The reason why a few low-order modes fail to be reliably identified under weak ambient vibration excitations and the relation between the mode identifiability and the excitation intensity are addressed through comparing the frequency-domain responses under normal ambient vibration excitations and under typhoon excitations and analyzing the wind speeds corresponding to different response data samples used in modal identification. The threshold value of wind speed (generalized excitation intensity) that makes the deficient modes identifiable is determined.
Key Words
    operational modal identification; mode identifiability; cable-stayed bridge; ambient vibration response; typhoon-induced dynamic response; excitation intensity
Y.Q. Ni, Y.W. Wang and Y.X. Xia: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

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