Excitation Control for Consistent Modal Parameters When Testing Nonlinear Structures 2003-01-1629
Many structures of practical interest exhibit a significant degree of nonlinearity. In such cases, the modal frequencies, damping, and amplitudes will change depending upon the excitation force level, response level and spectrum shape. When reporting the measured modal parameters from an artificial excitation test, the excitation conditions and response levels should be specified, and different modal models may be needed to represent the structural dynamics at different response amplitude levels. If the frequency responses are measured by moving accelerometers in multiple test runs, then it is important to maintain a consistent response level for all test runs.
This paper describes a method to eliminate the variability of the response level between data sets by means of closed-loop control of the RMS level. The amplitude control program uses a nonlinear gain estimation technique to set the gain on a “proportional-integral” controller. When the accelerometers are moved to other locations on the structure, the RMS response level is reset to the target level prior to each test run, insuring that the data acquired is consistent with the previously acquired data.