This dissertation deals with dynamics of engineering structures and principally discusses the identification of the modal parameters (i.e., natural frequencies, damping ratios and vibration modes) using output-only information, the excitation sources being considered as unknown and unmeasurable.
To solve these kind of problems, a quite large selection of techniques is available in the scientific literature, each of them possessing its own features, advantages and limitations. One common limitation of most of the methods concerns the post-processing procedures that have proved to be delicate and time consuming in some cases, and usually require good user’s expertise. The constant concern of
this work is thus the simplification of the result interpretation in order to minimize the influence of this ungovernable parameter.
A new modal parameter estimation approach is developed in this work. The
proposed methodology is based on the so-called Blind Source Separation techniques, that aim at reducing large data set to reveal its essential structure. The theoretical developments demonstrate a one-to-one relationship between the so-called mixing matrix and the vibration modes.
Two separation algorithms, namely the Independent Component Analysis and the Second-Order Blind Identification, are considered. Their performances are compared, and, due to intrinsic features, one of them is finally identified as more suitable for modal identification problems.
For the purpose of comparison, numerous academic case studies are considered to evaluate the influence of parameters such as damping, noise and nondeterministic excitations. Finally, realistic examples dealing with a large number of active modes, typical impact hammer modal testing and operational testing conditions, are studied to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed methodology for practical applications.