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ABSTRACT: The use of time or frequency domain in structural identification has advantages and disadvantages in both cases.

For example, in structures with frequency-dependent mechanic properties, as viscoelastic materials, frequency domain is clearly
more interesting than time domain. On the other hand, if non-linear systems are considered, time domain may present some
advantages. Regarding these last considerations, it is clearly observed that both domains are very important in structural
analysis. Besides that, the use of image processing based structural monitoring system has increased over the last years.
Professional integrated monitoring systems are been developed and, in a short time period, it is expected an augmentation of the
application of this non-contact instrumentation method. In the present work, an assessment of time and frequency domain
identification methods applied image processing results is carried out. To this end, time domain methods like Ibrahim Method,
Random Decrement Method, Exponential Decrement Method and frequency domain methods like Peak Picking Method,
Frequency Decomposition Methods, are applied to experimental results obtained from laboratory tests performed with image
processing techniques. As a conclusion of this work, some recommendations for the use of each tested method applied for the
class of experimental data (image processing based data) are expressed, regarding theirs efficiencies and accuracies.
KEY WORDS: Structural Identification; Image Processing; Time and Frequency Domain Identification Methods.
1 INTRODUCTION
The evaluation process of structural dynamic properties is
based on vibration data (vibration modes, natural
frequencies and damping) obtained by means of dynamic
tests. To this end, time domain based algorithms as Ibrahim
Method [1], Random Decrement Method [2], Exponential
Decrement Method [3]; or frequency domain based
algorithms as Peak Picking Method [4], Frequency Domain
Decomposition Methods [5], are frequently used.
In order to apply an identification method, normally,
time histories of the analyzed structure are required. In the
most cases, accelerometers, displacemeters or strain-gages
are used as sensors and computer systems are employed to
record time histories. Alternatively, the utilization of digital
images to analyse dynamical behaviour of structures is
present in some works in the literature [6,7]. Specifically,
in the structural dynamic domain, researches analyse
structural damage [1] and, in the most cases, modal
identification [2] as the present work.
In this paper, a cantilever beam is tested by means of
image processing based techniques. The resulted time-
histories are used as input for the time and frequency
domain identification methods overviewed in this text.
Accuracy of the modal components obtained by using
images is evaluated by comparing results extracted from a
strain-gage instrumentation and a computer models.

2 IDENTIFICATION METHODS
In this section, an overview of the applied identification
methods is performed.

2.1 Methods in Time Domain
2.1.1 Random Decrement Method - RD [2]
The random decrement method is a temporal modal method
which was used at the first time by H. Cole in the late 60s.
Since that time, this method has not stopped growing. It is
in particular used in the aerospace industry for the analysis
of experimental vibration data. The success of this method
is its simplicity of use and ability to analyze data in real
time.
This method transforms a stochastic processes y(t) into a
random decrement function (D
y
()) defined as:

( )
( ) ( )
y y t
D E y t T

= +

(1)
where T
y(t)
is called as trigger condition.
An estimation for the random decrement function may be
written using mean values describe in Equation (2):

( )
1
1
( ) ( ( ) )
i
N
y i y t
i
D y t T
N

=
= +

%
(2)
Equation (2) is usually interpreted as an approximation of
the structural free vibration response. In that way, methods
An Assessment of Time and Frequency Domain Identification Methods Applied to
Non-contact Experimental Data
F.S.Barbosa
1,2
, P.H.Hallak
1
, J.G.O.Borges
3
, R.A.Cardoso
1
1
Department of Applied and Computational Mechanics, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora MG, Brazil
2
Graduation Program in Computational Modeling, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora MG, Brazil
3
Civil Engineering Laboratory, State University of North Fluminense, Campos dos Gotacazes - RJ, Brazil
email: flavio.barbosa@ufjf.edu.br, patricia.hallak@ufjf.edu.br, jair.borges@gmail.com, rhacardoso@hotmail.com
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Structural Dynamics, EURODYN 2011
Leuven, Belgium, 4-6 July 2011
G. De Roeck, G. Degrande, G. Lombaert, G. M uller (eds.)
ISBN 978-90-760-1931-4
3544
that use this kind of time history for modal identification, as
Exponential Decrement Method [3] or Ibrahim Method [1],
may be applied.
2.1.2 Exponential Decrement Method - ED [3]
This is one of the most simple identification method. For
this reason, this method is widely used. By curve fitting
modal parameters to structural free vibration time history
responses filtered around a specific natural frequency, it is
possible to identify damping ratio and natural frequencies.
Natural frequencies are expressed by Equation (3) and
damping ratio by means of Equation (4).

i
i
T

2
= (3)

q
p
i
D
D
ln
2
1

= (4)
being
i
the i-th natural circular frequency of vibration
period T
i
;
i
the i-th damping ratio; D
p
and D
q
two
consecutive peaks of the free vibration response D.

2.1.3 Ibrahim Time Domain Method ITD [1]
By solving the eigenvalue problem describe by:
(A -
i
I) = 0 (5)
where A is the state matrix of the system (directly extracted
from the free vibration system response), natural
frequencies and damping ratios may be achieved from the
eigenvalues
i
, and modal amplitudes from the eigenvects
.

2.2 Methods in Frequency Domain
2.2.1 Peak Picking Method - PP [4]
The peak picking method (PP), also called as basic method,
assumes that the modal parameters may be identified if the
structure is excited by a Gaussian white noise. With this
assumption, it is possible to identify the modal parameters
using only its response over time
The natural frequencies are recognized through the
resonant peak of the Average Normalized Power Spectral
Density (ANPSD):

=
=
GL
n
i
n i
GL
n
NPSD
n
ANPSD
1
) (
1
) ( (6)
where:

=
=
N
i
n
n
n i
PSD
PSD
NPSD
1
) (
) (
) (

(7)
In Equation (6)
GL
n is the number of the analyzed
degrees of freedom. In Equation (7), ) (
n
PSD denotes the
Power Spectrum Density for
n
, being N the among of
discrete frequencies of the analyze.
In order to verify if identified natural frequencies are not
noises, a coherence function described in Equation (8) may
be used. In this equation, i and j are the degree of freedom,
ij
S
~
are the elements of the spectral density matrix and
ij
is
the coherence function, which can range from 0 to 1.
Values of
ij
S
~
close to unity indicate a higher degree of
linearity between the measured signals, pointing that the
identified frequencies are actual natural frequencies of the
analyzed structure.

) ( S ) ( S
) ( S
) (
m ij m ij
m ij
m ij ~ ~
~
2
2

= (6)
The modal configuration is attained by using the transfer
function, which relates the PSD of a degree of freedom
with a reference degree of freedom.
The damping ration is evaluated using the traditional
half-power method. However, many researchers report
some uncertainty in this evaluation [8]. This method
requires for a reasonable estimation of damping that natural
frequencies are not close from each other.
2.2.2 Frequency Domain Decomposition Method FDD
[5]
The Frequency Domain Decomposition method was
developed in order to solve the problems of PP method. It
is based on the singular value decomposition of the PSD
matrix, known at discrete frequency
i
= . It was firstly
proposed by Brincker et al [5,9]. This decomposition is
shown in Equation (9), where the matrix
[ ]
im i i i
u u u U ,..., ,
2 1
= is an unitary matrix having the singular
vectors
ij
u and
i
S is a diagonal matrix with the scalar
singular values
ij
s .

H
i i i i yy
U S U j G = ) (
)
(7)
Near to a peak, corresponding to the k-th mode in the
spectrum, the correspondent mode will be dominating.
Thus, in this case, the first singular vector ui1 is an
estimation of the mode shape:

1 i
u =
)
(8)
This PSD function is identified around the peak by
comparing the estimated mode shape
)
with singular
vectors for the frequency around this peak. Modal
Assurance Criterion (MAC) value is used to compare these
vectors.
Using the Single Degree of Freedom (SDOF) PSD
obtained around a peak, the natural frequency and the
damping can be achieved. In this paper the PSDs piece
related to a SDOF is taken back to the time domain by an
Inverse Fast Fourier transform (IFFT). Frequency and the
damping are estimated from the crossing times and the
logarithmic decrement of the corresponding SDOF
autocorrelation function.

Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Structural Dynamics, EURODYN 2011 3545
3 IMAGE PROCESSING ALGORITHM [10]
The methodology used in this work consists on to record
fixed targets placed on a structure under free vibration
using a digital camera. The obtained video is transferred to
a computer and the developed software is applied in order
to automatically identify the central target coordinates for
each video frame. This process, after simple algebraic
operations, results in displacement time histories. Modal
parameters may be extracted by using identification
methods (section 2).
The targets must allow a robust identification through
automatic methods and it should present geometric
characteristics compatible to the application. In this way, a
black circle on a white background is used as target.
A simple thresholding is capable to transform a
grayscale (8 bits) or true colour (24 bits) image into a
binary (1 bit) image as presented in Figure 1. In this case a
grayscale image is transformed into a binary image. The
thresholding defines the limit between the light and dark
image pixel grayscale, transforming light ones into white
pixels, and dark ones into black pixels.
Using a binary image, the pixels attached to the black
colour (inside the circle) have the label b(x,y)=1, and the
pixels attached to the white colour (outside the circle) have
the label b(x,y)=0, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 - The threshold operation
The thresholding limit may be considered constant if the
illumination conditions are stable during all operation.
After the target pixel identification, it is possible to
determine the black circle image centroid
( ) y x,
coordinates
x and y , shown in Figure 1, with sub-pixel precision
using:
( ) x y x b
M N
x
N
x
M
y
. ,
1
1 1

= =
= (9)
and:
( ) y y x b
M N
y
N
x
M
y
. ,
1
1 1

= =
= (10)
where: N and M are the number of columns and rows of the
image, respectively.
By taking the coordinates
( ) y x,
obtained for each frame, it is
possible to generate time history series
t
x and
t
y , where t
represents the frame number. These time series allow
structural natural frequency identification that, in this work,
is obtained by using algorithms described in section 2.
This methodology is quite simple and relatively not
expensive but it may be not generally applied due to some
limitations. A modal identification using the proposed
method may present errors in some particular situations.
The first limitation is attached to the aliasing problem.
The standard digital camera used in the analysis has frame
rate equals to 25 frames per second, and this situation
demands a dynamic behaviour with maximal frequency
component of 12.5 Hz (Nyquist frequency). This low
frequency limit may be increased using a higher frame rate
camera, which is obviously more expensive then the used
camera.
Secondly, it must be observed that images are bi-
dimensional (2D) projections of the three-dimensional (3D)
space. In that case, the perspective effects of this 3D to 2D
transformation affect natural frequency identification when
the camera sensor plan is not parallel to the analysed
structure oscillation plan. If this parallelism does not occur,
magnitude of modal components are affected and ghost
frequencies may appear in the time series
t y
[11].
Finally, illumination and reverberation problems
may cause inaccurate results. This kind of problem is
inherent to image processing methods.

4 APPLICATION
The studied object was a fixed-free cantilever beam, which
was numerically and experimentally analyzed.
In the numerical simulation, it was possible to indentify
natural frequencies and respective modes shapes for the
adopted model.
In the experimental tests, two types of instrumentation
schemes were applied. In the first one, a classical strain
gage monitoring was used in order to obtain a benchmark
result in terms of system natural frequencies and damping
ratios. The second campaign consisted on an image
processing based instrumentation.
Using identification methods, described in section 2,
modal results acquire from numerical and experimental
tests are compared and the main advantages or
disadvantages of each algorithm are stressed.
In the next subsections, a brief description of the
structure, the numerical and experimental results are
presented.
4.1 Description of the structure and numerical results.
Figure 2 shows a picture of the cantilever beam in which
four masses with four circular black targets were added and
a strain gage was bounded Table 1 presents the physical
and geometrical properties of this beam.


Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Structural Dynamics, EURODYN 2011 3546
Figure 2 A picture of the experiment.
Table 1. Physical and geometrical properties of the beam.
Material aluminum
Elasticity module 70.3 GPa
Specific mass 2600 kg/m
3
Cross section area 39 mm
2

Moment of inercia 29.25mm
4


In order to procede the numerical simulation, a Finite
Element Model (FEM) was used with the following
consideration:
i. The vibrations occur around an undeformable
configuration, it means, the static deformation
imposed by adding masses were disregarded;
ii. The structure were discretized using frame elements
with nodes located in the geometrical middle of
each mass;
iii. The four masses added in the system were
introduced in the model as concentrated masses.
The numerical model reached with these assumptions
takes the form of the scheme presented in Figure 3, with 5
nodes and 4 elements. Table 2 resume the dynamic
properties obtained in the numerical simulation for the first
two mode shapes. Note that the amplitude of each mode
i

were normalized using the amplitude of free extreme (node
1).
0.20m 0.20m 0.20m 0.22m
78g 82g 72g 72g
0.025m
1
1
2 3 4 5
2 3 4
0.20m 0.20m 0.20m 0.22m
78g 82g 72g 72g
0.025m
1
1
2 3 4 5
2 3 4

Figure 3 Numerical model.
Table 2 Dynamic properties of the numerical model
Node
Mode 1
1.41 Hz
Mode 2
9.10 Hz
1 1.00 1.00
2 0.66 -0.60
3 0.34 -1.24
4 0.10 -0.70
5 0.00 0.00


4.2 Description of the experimental tests.
4.2.1 Strain gage based instrumentation signal
processing
The obtained signal in terms of microstrains (s), for a free
vibration test of the beam, after an impulsive load, is
plotted in Figure 4. The frequency of acquisition was set in
300 Hz and a low-pass filter in 20Hz was used.

Figure 4 Strain gage signal.
The signal of Figure 4 was used to determine reference
results. By curve fitting theoretical free vibration solution
for this system presented in Equation (11), it was possible
to obtained natural frequencies and damping.

=
+ =
2
1
) exp( ) cos( ) (
i
i i i i i
t t t x (11)
being, x(t) the strain amplitude;
i
the i-th modal amplitude;

i
and
i
the i-th natural frequency and damping ratio,
respectively; and
i
the i-th phase angle.
In Table 3 are presented frequencies, damping ratios
obtained and magnitudes of and for each modes
1

Table 3 Frequencies and damping ratio of the simulated
signal.
Mode f
i
(Hz)
i
(%)
i

i

1 1.49 0.30 0.34 0
2 10.00 0.50 0.70 0

After the curve fitting process, x(t) must have to
approximate the original signal obtained with the strain
gage. In order to assure the fidelity between both signals,
MAC (modal assurance criterion) coefficient was used.
In Figure 5, it is plotted x(t) and the original signal from
the strain gage, for a short period of time. The MAC
coefficient obtained was approximately 96%, indicating a
very good correlation between both signals.


Figure 5 Comparison between strain gage signal and
theoretical curve fitted model.
Modal values presented in Table 3 were considered as
reference results, since they allow an almost perfect
correlation between the strain gage response and the
theoretical curve fitted model x(t).

1
Note that damping ratios are very small (lower than 1%).
Consequently, damped and undamped natural frequencies
are considered identical.
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Structural Dynamics, EURODYN 2011 3547
4.2.2 Camera signal processing
Time histories for nodes 1 and 3, obtained after the image
processing method described in section 3, is shown in
Figure 6. In order to avoid repetition, results for nodes 2
and 4 are not presented since they are similar to ones
presented in Figure 6.

Figure 6 Non contact camera signals for nodes 1 and 3.
In Table 4 the frequencies and damping ratio obtained
using the ITD (after applying RD), PP and FDD methods
applied to this non-contact experimental data are given.
Achieved modes shapes are presented in Table 5.
Table 4 Frequency and damping ratio results (Hz).
Frequency (Hz)
Damping ratio
(%)
Mode
ITD PP FDD ITD PP FDD
1 1.50 1.56 1.56 1.30 6.00 3.50
2 9.80 9.96 9.96 7.30 1.20 0.60
Table 5 Modes shapes results.
Mode 1
Node ITD PP FDD
1 1.00 1.00 1.00
2 0.67 0.67 0.67
3 0.37 0.37 0.37
4 0.13 0.14 0.13
5 0.00 0.00 0.00
Mode 2
Node ITD PP FDD
1 1.00 1.00 1.00
2 -0.55 -0.50 -0.52
3 -1.20 -1.16 -1.19
4 -0.80 -0.79 -0.81
5 0.00 0.00 0.00

4.3 Comparison of Results and Discussions
All results previously obtained are summarized in this
section. Reference modal parameters Ref. (obtained from
the strain gage instrumentation Table 3) and numerical
results, referred as FEM, are also included.
In
Table 6 values of frequency are regrouped with
percentage differences to Ref. values.
Table 6 Frequency comparisons (Hz)
Camera
f
i
Ref. FEM
ITD PP FDD
(-%) (-%) (-%)
1 1.49
1.41
(-5,37%)
1.50
(0.67%)
1.56
(4.70%)
1.56
(4.70%)
2 10.0
9.10
(-9,00%)
9.80
(-2,00%)
9.96
(-0.40%)
9.96
(-0.40%)

Regarding Table 6, it is possible to observe that the first
natural frequency is better identified by using ITD. On the
other hand, for the second natural frequency, PP and FDD
have a better performance. These results are consequence
of the camera frame rate (25 fps) and the total time of the
experimental test (10s), leading to frequency resolution of
0.1 Hz. In these conditions, time domain methods normally
tend to present a reasonable performance for low frequency
identification (1.49Hz). In order to increase the
performance of frequency domain methods, one must
reduce frequency resolution. For higher frequencies,
frequency resolution are proportionally less important,
leading to enhance PP and FDD performances, as detected
in the present case.
Considering, damping ratios, all the used identification
methods had an erratic performance as it may be verified in
Table 7. Discrepancies in damping ratio identification are
not rare in modal analysis. References [12 and 13] face the
same behavior for damping ratio identification.
Table 7 Damping ratios comparison
Camera
Mode benchmark
ITD PP FDD
1 0.30 1.30 6.00 3.50
2 0.50 7.30 1.20 0.60
Finally, first and second mode shapes and FEMs results
are compared in Figure 7 and 8, respectively.

0
1
1 2 3 4 5
Node

FEM ITD PP FDD



Figure 7 First identified mode shapes and FEMs result
-2
-1
0
1
1 2 3 4 5
Node

FEM ITD PP FDD



Figure 8 Second identified mode shape and FEMs result
The identified mode shapes have practically coincident
amplitudes and FEMs results are slightly different from
then, in both figures. Tables 8 and 9 present MAC
comparisons for mode shapes #1 and #2, respectively. For
all cross mode shape comparison, MAC values are superior
than 99%, indicating an almost identical performance for
all identification method.
Table 7 Mode shapes comparisons via MAC
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Structural Dynamics, EURODYN 2011 3548
Mode 1
FEM ITD PP FDD
FEM 100 99.9301 99.9007 99.9298
ITD 99.9301 100 99.9934 99.9998
PP 99.9007 99.9934 100 99.9939
FDD 99.9298 99.9998 99.9939 100
FEM 100 99.9301 99.9007 99.9298
Mode 2
FEM ITD PP FDD
FEM 100 99.5839 99.3443 99.3624
ITD 99.5839 100 99.9366 99.9633
PP 99.3443 99.9366 100 99.9872
FDD 99.3624 99.9633 99.9872 100
FEM 100 99.5839 99.3443 99.3624

5 CONCLUSIONS
In this paper, time and frequency domain identification
methods were applied to time histories obtained by means
of an image processing based procedure used in a structural
experimental test.
A strain gage classical instrumentation and a numerical
model were used to evaluate the quality of the obtained
image processing time histories. Comparisons concerning
mode shapes and natural frequencies presented good
agreement. On the other hand, damping ratios were not
correctly identified.
Time domain methods presented better performance for
the first natural frequency. It is due to limitations regarding
cameras frame rate, leading to a Nyquist frequency limit of
12.5 Hz. The identification process tends to be more
inaccurate for frequencies near to Nyquist limit.
Frequency domain methods were specially limited by
frequency resolution. For low frequencies, this limitation is
more pronounced.
It is important to notice, that all conclusions extracted
from this paper are not inherent to time histories obtained
by image processing based algorithms. Any kind of
instrumentation method having 0.1Hz of frequency
resolution and 25Hz of acquisition frequency tend to
present the same facilities an difficulties. In the face of that,
one can conclude that an image processing based
instrumentation can allows equivalent results in terms of
modal identification, if compared to classical
instrumentation methods.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors would like to thank UFJF (Universidade
Federal de Juiz de Fora), FAPEMIG (Fundao de Amparo
Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais), CNPq (Conselho
Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientfico e tecnolgico) and
CAPES (Coordenao de Aperfeioamento de Pessoal de
Nvel Superior) for the financial support.


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Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Structural Dynamics, EURODYN 2011 3549