A wavelet-based approach is proposed for structural damage detection and health monitoring. Characteristics of representative vibration signals under the wavelet transformation are examined. The methodology is then applied to simulation data generated from a simple structural model subjected to a harmonic excitation. The model consists of multiple breakable springs, some of which may suffer irreversible damage when the response exceeds a threshold value or the number of cycles of motion is accumulated beyond their fatigue life. In cases of either abrupt or accumulative damages, occurrence of damage and the moment when it occurs can be clearly determined in the details of the wavelet decomposition of these data. Similar results are observed for the real acceleration data of the seismic response recorded on the roof of a building during the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. Effects of noise intensity and damage severity are investigated and presented by a detectability map. Results show the great promise of the wavelet approach for damage detection and structural health monitoring.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mnoori/11/