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Structural health monitoring of long-span suspension bridges using wavelet packet analysis

Ding Youliang (丁幼亮) and Li Aiqun (李爱群)

College of Civil Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China

Abstract: During the service life of civil engineering structures such as long-span bridges, local damage at key positions may continually accumulate, and may finally result in their sudden failure. One core issue of global vibration-based health monitoring methods is to seek some damage indices that are sensitive to structural damage. This paper proposes an online structural health monitoring method for long-span suspension bridges using wavelet packet transform (WPT). The WPT-based method is based on the energy variations of structural ambient vibration responses decomposed using wavelet packet analysis. The main feature of this method is that the proposed wavelet packet energy spectrum (WPES) has the ability to detect structural damage from ambient vibration tests of a long-span suspension bridge. As an example application, the WPES-based health monitoring system is used on the Runyang Suspension Bridge under daily environmental conditions. The analysis reveals that changes in environmental temperature have a long-term influence on the WPES, while the effect of traffic loadings on the measured WPES of the bridge presents instantaneous changes because of the nonstationary properties of the loadings. The condition indication indices VD reflect the influences of environmental temperature on the dynamic properties of the Runyang Suspension Bridge. The field tests demonstrate that the proposed WPES-based condition indication index VD is a good candidate index for health monitoring of long-span suspension bridges under ambient excitations.

Keywords: structural health monitoring; wavelet packet analysis; wavelet packet energy spectrum; ambient vibration test; long-span suspension bridge

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Copyright 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.