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Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is a well-accepted diagnostic technique being used to evaluate modern structures. This method involves monitoring the vibration responses of structure to detect changes in the structural state of a building. The primary intention of this report is to address two practical and technical difficulties encountered in deploying SHM on historic masonry monuments: (i) the selection of suitable low dimensional vibration response features that are highly sensitive to the presence and extent of damage, while having low sensitivity to extraneous noise and (ii) the selection of optimal sensor locations for efficient system identification applied to Gothic Cathedrals. All three of the features of this report achieve reduction in the size of the raw data to be analyzed leading to reduced computational as well as monetary effort. Compression of the raw vibration response data acquired from the vibration tests on structures is vital from the standpoint of faster real time monitoring of historic structures.

This report is composed of three manuscripts. The first manuscript illustrates the concepts of feature assimilation and noise sensitivity on an arch-like structure using both numerical and experimental analysis. The second study investigates the damage indicative features extracted in the modal, frequency and time domain. Vibration measurements of a Gothic vaulted masonry monument undergoing differential support settlement are used and it is shown that vibration measurements offer a practical solution to detect vault-wall separation. The third study is focused on finding optimal sensor locations for vibration testing of Gothic Cathedrals. A modified version of the Effective Independence Method is used for this purpose. This report aims to develop a best-iii practices guide for effective application of SHM for the use of professionals involved in assessing, preserving and maintaining cultural monuments.

This research was made possible through Grant MT-2210-10-NC-01 from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT).

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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119