Frequency-domain synchronization of structural health monitoring data
Since the advent of structural health monitoring (SHM), vibration analysis has been one of the most popular strategies for yielding modal information of structures, such as eigenfrequencies and mode shapes. As a result of the relatively high sampling rates adopted in vibration analysis, obtaining accurate modal information requires absolute synchronization of structural response data. Despite the advances in sensing technologies and synchronization protocols, synchronization discrepancies in structural response data may occur due to drifting in internal clocks of independent data acquisition units. Particularly in wireless SHM, in which each wireless sensor node essentially operates as an independent data acquisition unit, mitigating clock drifting has been an area of intensive research. This paper addresses the issue of data synchronization from a physics-based perspective, aiming to add an additional synchronization check at the post-sampling stage. Specifically, a frequency-domain synchronization approach is reported, which builds upon the relationship between time lags in structural response data and the cross spectral density phase angles. Validation tests are conducted using simulations of a multi-degree-of-freedom oscillator and data collected from a full-scale road bridge, demonstrating the capability of the approach to estimate time lags between SHM data even in the presence of non-proportional damping, thus overcoming a common limitation of other synchronization methods. The frequency-domain synchronization approach is intended to complement synchronization protocols in extracting accurate modal information.
Cross spectral density
Structural health monitoring