Online simultaneous reconstruction of wind load and structural responses-Theory and application to canton tower

Yan Niu, Claus Peter Fritzen, Henning Jung, Inka Buethe, Yiqing Ni, You Wu Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


The actual wind load information is helpful in evaluating the health status of high-rise structures. However, as a type of distributed load, the wind load is very difficult to be measured directly. A possible solution is to reconstruct it from the structural response measurements. This is often an ill-posed inverse problem. In this article, such ill posedness is solved by using a stable input estimator. With the help of the proposed application-oriented algorithm selection guidance, a type of state and input estimator is formulated. This type of estimator is designed based on the Kalman filter scheme, and is capable of estimating the unknown inputs and the system states within one sampling time. This actually facilitates the online simultaneous reconstruction of the wind load and the structural responses. The 600 m tall Canton Tower is situated in a typhoon active area, and a structural health monitoring system has already been integrated onto this tower. These two points make the Canton Tower an ideal test bed for validating the above illustrated online reconstruction strategy for the wind load and the structural responses. An operational modal analysis (OMA) is first performed to identify the modal properties of the Canton Tower under the Typhoon Nanmadol in 2011. Then a reduced-order finite element model (FEM) of the Canton Tower is updated according the OMA results. Finally, the equivalent fluctuating lateral loads and moments, which act on the nodes of the reduced-order FEM are reconstructed using the acceleration measurements recorded during Tyhoon Kai-tak in 2012. The reconstruction results are validated by comparing the simultaneously reconstructed structural acceleration with the corresponding sensor measurements. The mean component of the loads and moments are calculated using the real-time wind speed measurements and the available aerodynamic force coefficients. It is noted here that the focus of this article is not to develop a totally new theory, but rather to explore the application of a state and input estimator in the foreground to a practical complex structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-681
Number of pages16
JournalComputer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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