Modal parameter identification of a multiple-span post-tensioned concrete bridge using hybrid vibration testing data

Ge Wei Chen, Xinghua Chen, Piotr Omenzetter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The paper describes and evaluates application of output-only system identification to an eleven-span post-tensioned concrete bridge using hybrid excitation. A linear chirp sweeping force, induced by two light-weight electro-dynamic shakers, augmented environmental sources to excite the bridge during the hybrid testing exercise. To obtain the modal characteristics of the structure, two output-only time domain system identification methods were employed, namely auto-regressive (AR) time series model and eigensystem realization algorithm with observer/Kalman identification (ERA-OKID), with the traditional data-driven stochastic subspace identification method (SSI-data) providing a comparative benchmark. The accuracy and efficiency of both system identification algorithms when used on hybrid testing data are investigated and compared to the results from purely ambient vibration testing data. The study demonstrates that using both output-only identification algorithms the collected vibration responses induced by the proposed hybrid vibration testing methodology can be used for extracting modal parameters with enhanced accuracy and reliability (i.e. more identified modes) for the large-scale post-tensioned concrete bridge due to the increase in the excitation strength and better coverage of the relevant frequency bands. Compared to the classical SSI-data, the AR and ERA-OKID techniques were able to identify more modes at reduced computational cost when applied to voluminous data from multi-channel measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110953
Number of pages15
JournalEngineering Structures
Early online date16 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the financial supports of the Opening Fund of the Hubei Key Laboratory of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (China Three Gorges University) (Grant No. 2017KJZ08). Piotr Omenzetter's work on this paper within the LRF Centre for Safety and Reliability Engineering at the University of Aberdeen was partially supported by Lloyd's Register Foundation. The Foundation helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research.


  • Ambient excitation
  • Ambient vibration testing
  • Autoregressive model
  • Eigensystem realization algorithm with observer/Kalman identification
  • Hybrid vibration testing
  • Multiple-span post-tensioned concrete bridge
  • Output-only modal identification


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