Extending Blind Modal Identification to the Underdetermined Case for Ambient Vibration


The modal identification framework known as Blind Modal Identification (BMID) has recently been developed, drawing on techniques from Blind Source Separation (BSS).  Therein, a BSS algorithm known as Second Order Blind Identification (SOBI) was adapted to solve the Modal IDentification (MID) problem.  One of the drawbacks of the technique is that the number of modes identified must be less than the number of sensors used to measure the vibration of the equipment or structure.

In this paper, an extension of the BMID method is presented for the underdetermined case, where the number of sensors is less than the number of modes to be identified.  The analytic signal formed from measured vibration data is formed and the Second Order Blind Identification of Underdetermined Mixtures (SOBIUM) algorithm is applied to estimate the complex-valued modes and modal response autocorrelation functions.  The natural frequencies and modal damping ratios are then estimated from the corresponding modal auto spectral density functions using a simple Single Degree Of Freedom (SDOF), frequency-domain method.  Theoretical limitations on the number of modes identified given the number of sensors are provided.

The method is demonstrated using a simulated six DOF mass-spring-dashpot system excited by white noise, where displacement at four of the six DOF is measured.  All six modes are successfully identified using data from only four sensors.  The method is also applied to a more realistic simulation of ambient building vibration.  Seven modes in the bandwidth of interest are successfully identified using acceleration data from only five DOF.  In both examples, the identified modal parameters (natural frequencies, mode shapes, modal damping ratios) are compared to the analytical parameters and are demonstrated to be of good quality.


McNeill, S., “Extending Blind Modal Identification to the Underdetermined Case for Ambient Vibration,” Proceedings of the ASME IMECE 2012, Houston, Texas, November 9-15, 2012.


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