Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2018

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 01/31/2020

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Rahmatalla, Salam

First Committee Member

Arora, Jasbir

Second Committee Member

Bhatti, Asghar

Third Committee Member

Swan, Colby

Fourth Committee Member

Stoakes, Christopher


The present work introduces novel methodologies for damage detection and health monitoring of structural and mechanical systems. The new approach uses the angular velocity inside different mathematical forms, via a gyroscope, to detect, locate, and relatively quantify damage. This new approach has been shown to outperform the current state-of-the-art acceleration-based approach in detecting damage on structures. Additionally, the current approach has been shown to be less sensitive to environmental acoustic noises, which present major challenges to the acceleration-based approaches. Furthermore, the current approach has been demonstrated to work effectively on arch structures, which acceleration-based approaches have struggled to deal with. The efficacy of the new approach has been investigated through multiple forms of structural damage indices.

The first methodology proposed a damage index that is based on the changes in the second spatial derivative (curvature) of the power spectral density (PSD) of the angular velocity during vibration. The proposed method is based on the output motion only and does not require information about the input forces/motions. The PSD of the angular velocity signal at different locations on structural beams was used to identify the frequencies where the beams show large magnitude of angular velocity. The curvature of the PSD of the angular velocity at these peak frequencies was then calculated. A damage index is presented that measures the differences between the PSD curvature of the angular velocity of a damaged structure and an artificial healthy baseline structure.

The second methodology proposed a damage index that is used to detect and locate damage on straight and curved beams. The approach introduces the transmissibility and coherence functions of the output angular velocity between two points on a structure where damage may occur to calculate a damage index as a metric of the changes in the dynamic integrity of the structure. The damage index considers limited-frequency bands of the transmissibility function at frequencies where the coherence is high. The efficacy of the proposed angular-velocity damage-detection approach as compared to the traditional linear-acceleration damage-detection approach was tested on straight and curved beams with different chord heights. Numerical results showed the effectiveness of the angular-velocity approach in detecting damage of multiple levels. It was observed that the magnitude of the damage index increased with the magnitude of damage, indicating the sensitivity of the proposed method to damage intensity. The results on straight and curved beams showed that the proposed approach is superior to the linear-acceleration-based approach, especially when dealing with curved beams with increasing chord heights. The experimental results showed that the damage index of the angular-velocity approach outweighed that of the acceleration approach by multiple levels in terms of detecting damage.

A third methodology for health-monitoring and updating of structure supports, which resemble bridges’ bearings, is introduced in this work. The proposed method models the resistance of the supports as rotational springs and uses the transmissibility and coherence functions of the output response of the angular velocity in the neighborhood of the bearings to detect changes in the support conditions. The proposed methodology generates a health-monitoring index that evaluates the level of deterioration in the support and a support-updating scheme to update the stiffness resistance of the supports. Numerical and experimental examples using beams with different support conditions are introduced to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. The results show that the proposed method detected changes in the state of the bearings and successfully updated the changes in the stiffness of the supports.


Angular Velocity, Coherence, Model Updating, Power Spectral Density, Structural Health monitoring, Transmissibility


xv, 130 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 124-130).


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Copyright © 2018 Samer Saadi Hussein Al Jailawi