, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 239–250 | Cite as

Structural Health Monitoring Through Chaotic Interrogation

  • J.M. Nichols
  • S.T. Trickey
  • M.D. Todd
  • L.N. Virgin


The field of vibration based structural health monitoring involves extracting a ‘feature’ which robustly quantifies damage induced changes to the structure in the presence of ambient variation, that is, changes in ambient temperature, varying moisture levels, etc. In this paper, we present an attractor-based feature derived from the field of nonlinear time-series analysis. Emphasis is placed on the use of chaos for the purposes of system interrogation. The structure is excited with the output of a chaotic oscillator providing a deterministic (low-dimensional) input. Use is made of the Kaplan–Yorke conjecture in order to ‘tune’ the Lyapunov exponents of the driving signal so that varying degrees of damage in the structure will alter the state space properties of the response attractor. The average local attractor variance ratio (ALAVR) is suggested as one possible means of quantifying the state space changes. Finite element results are presented for a thin aluminum cantilever beam subject to increasing damage, as specified by weld line separation, at the clamped end. Comparisons of the ALAVR to two modal features are evaluated through the use of a performance metric.

Chaos Damage detection Attractor Lyapunov spectrum 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.M. Nichols
    • 1
  • S.T. Trickey
    • 1
  • M.D. Todd
    • 1
  • L.N. Virgin
    • 2
  1. 1.Naval Research LaboratoryWashingtonU.S.A
  2. 2.Pratt School of EngineeringDuke UniversityU.S.A

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