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Sensors 2013, 13(12), 16551-16564; doi:10.3390/s131216551

Monitoring of Structures and Mechanical Systems Using Virtual Visual Sensors for Video Analysis: Fundamental Concept and Proof of Feasibility

Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
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Received: 3 October 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 26 November 2013 / Published: 2 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

Structural health monitoring (SHM) has become a viable tool to provide owners of structures and mechanical systems with quantitative and objective data for maintenance and repair. Traditionally, discrete contact sensors such as strain gages or accelerometers have been used for SHM. However, distributed remote sensors could be advantageous since they don’t require cabling and can cover an area rather than a limited number of discrete points. Along this line we propose a novel monitoring methodology based on video analysis. By employing commercially available digital cameras combined with efficient signal processing methods we can measure and compute the fundamental frequency of vibration of structural systems. The basic concept is that small changes in the intensity value of a monitored pixel with fixed coordinates caused by the vibration of structures can be captured by employing techniques such as the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). In this paper we introduce the basic concept and mathematical theory of this proposed so-called virtual visual sensor (VVS), we present a set of initial laboratory experiments to demonstrate the accuracy of this approach, and provide a practical in-service monitoring example of an in-service bridge. Finally, we discuss further work to improve the current methodology.
Keywords: structural health monitoring; video analysis; natural vibrations; virtual visual sensors; Eulerian specification structural health monitoring; video analysis; natural vibrations; virtual visual sensors; Eulerian specification
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schumacher, T.; Shariati, A. Monitoring of Structures and Mechanical Systems Using Virtual Visual Sensors for Video Analysis: Fundamental Concept and Proof of Feasibility. Sensors 2013, 13, 16551-16564.

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