Vibration-based structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques require modal information from the monitored structure in order to estimate the location and severity of damage. Natural frequencies also provide useful information to calibrate finite element models. There are several types of physical sensors that can measure the response over a range of frequencies. For most of those sensors however, accessibility, limitation of measurement points, wiring, and high system cost represent major challenges. Recent optical sensing approaches offer advantages such as easy access to visible areas, distributed sensing capabilities, and comparatively inexpensive data recording while having no wiring issues. In this research we propose a novel methodology to measure natural frequencies of structures using digital video cameras based on virtual visual sensors (VVS). In our initial study where we worked with commercially available inexpensive digital video cameras we found that for multiple degrees of freedom systems it is difficult to detect all of the natural frequencies simultaneously due to low quantization resolution. In this study we show how oversampling enabled by the use of high-end high-frame-rate video cameras enable recovering all of the three natural frequencies from a three story lab-scale structure.

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