Response covariance-based sensor placement for structural damage detection

Jian Fu Lin, You Lin Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


One important function of a structural health monitoring system is to detect structural damage in a structure. However, this is a very challenging task since the measurement is often incomplete in a civil structure due to a limited number of sensors. This paper presents a response covariance-based sensor placement method for structural damage detection with two objective functions for optimisation. The relationship between the covariance of acceleration responses and the covariance of unit impulse responses of a structure subjected to multiple white noise excitations is first derived. The response covariance-based damage detection method is then presented. Two objective functions based on the response covariance sensitivity and the response independence are, respectively, formulated and finally integrated into a single objective function for optimal sensor placement. Numerical studies are conducted to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method via a three-dimensional frame structure. Numerical results show that the proposed method with the backward sequential sensor placement algorithm is effective for damage detection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1207-1220
Number of pages14
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2018


  • damage detection
  • response covariance
  • response independence
  • sensitivity analysis
  • Sensor placement
  • unit impulse response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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