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  1. Structural health monitoring of complex structures is often limited by restricted accessibility to locations of interest within the structure and availability of operational loads. In this work, a novel output-only virtual sensing scheme is proposed. This scheme involves the implementation of the modal expansion in an augmented Kalman filter. Performance of the proposed scheme is compared with two existing methods. Method 1 relies on a finite element model updating, batch data processing, and modal expansion (MUME) procedure. Method 2 employs a recursive sequential estimation algorithm, which feeds a substructure model of the instrumented system into an Augmented Kalman Filter (AKF). The new scheme referred to as Method 3 (ME-AKF), implements strain estimates generated via Modal Expansion into an AKF as virtual measurements. To demonstrate the applicability of the aforementioned methods, a rollercoaster connection was instrumented with accelerometers, strain rosettes, and an optical sensor. A comparison of estimated dynamic strain response at unmeasured locations using three alternative schemes is presented. Although acceleration measurements are used indirectly for model updating, the response-only methods presented in this research use only measurements from strain rosettes for strain history predictions and require no prior knowledge of input forces. Predicted strains using all methods are shownmore »to sufficiently predict the measured strain time histories from a control location and lie within a 95% confidence interval calculated based on modal expansion equations. In addition, the proposed ME-AKF method shows improvement in strain predictions at unmeasured locations without the necessity of batch data processing. The proposed scheme shows high potential for real-time dynamic estimation of the strain and stress state of complex structures at unmeasured locations.« less
  2. High cycle fatigue is a major cause of cracking in steel structures subjected to cyclic loading. It can result in substantial financial losses and structural failures compromising the safety of users. Uniaxial methods are in many cases insufficient for large in-service structures with complex geometry and connections subjected to multiaxial non-proportional loadings. A new method for fatigue life prediction for complex structures is presented using the critical plane method and the Kalman filter. The applicability of the methodology proposed is demonstrated and evaluated in a roller coaster support structure. Strain rosettes and accelerometers were installed on a support bracket near weld lines to measure responses. A substructure model is defined and used to estimate response prediction in the weld of the support bracket. The estimation of the input and the state estimation is performed using the augmented Kalman filter method, based on the response measurements and the substructured model. This new methodology is anticipated to be used for real-time fatigue prognosis of highway bridges.