Dynamic Field Test, System Identification, and Modal Validation of an RC Minaret: Preprocessing and Postprocessing the Wind-Induced Ambient Vibration Data

Sahin A., Bayraktar A., Ozcan D. M., Sevim B., ALTUNIŞIK A. C., TÜRKER T.

JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTED FACILITIES, vol.25, no.4, pp.336-356, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The investigation of dynamic response for civil engineering structures largely depends on a detailed understanding of their dynamic characteristics, such as the natural frequencies, mode shapes, and modal damping ratios. Dynamic characteristics of structures may be obtained numerically and experimentally. The finite-element method is widely used to model structural systems numerically. However, there are some uncertainties in numerical models. Material properties and boundary conditions may not be modeled correctly. There may be some microcracks in the structures, and these cracks may directly affect the modeling parameters. Modal testing gives correct uncertain modeling parameters that lead to better predictions of the dynamic behavior of a target structure. Therefore, dynamic behavior of special structures, such as minarets, should be determined with ambient vibration tests. The vibration test results may be used to update numerical models and to detect microcracks distributed along the structure. The operational modal analysis procedure consists of several phases. First, vibration tests are carried out, spectral functions are produced from raw measured acceleration records, dynamic characteristics are determined by analyzing processed spectral functions, and finally analytical models are calibrated or updated depending on experimental analysis results. In this study, an ambient vibration test is conducted on the minaret under natural excitations, such as wind effects and human movement. The dynamic response of the minaret is measured through an array of four trixial force-balanced accelerometers deployed along the whole length of the minaret. The raw measured data obtained from ambient vibration testing are analyzed with the SignalCAD program, which was developed in MATLAB. The employed system identification procedures are based on output-only measurements because the forcing functions are not available during ambient vibration tests. The ModalCAD program developed in MATLAB is used for dynamic characteristic identification. A three-dimensional model of the minaret is constructed, and its modal analysis is performed to obtain analytical frequencies and mode shapes by using the ANSYS finite-element program. The obtained system identification results have very good agreement, thus providing a reliable set of identified modal properties (natural frequencies, damping ratios, and mode shapes) of the structure, which can be used to calibrate finite-element models and as a baseline in health monitoring studies. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000167. (C) 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers.