Target-free vision-based technique for vibration measurements of structures subjected to out-of-plane movements

Mir Abdul Kuddus, Jun Li, Hong Hao, Chao Li, Kaiming Bi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Vibration measurements have been widely used for structural health monitoring (SHM). Usually, wired sensors are required to attach on the testing structure, which may be arduous, costly and sometimes impossible to install those sensors on the remote and inaccessible part of the structure to be monitored. To overcome the limitations of contact sensors based vibration measurement methods, computer vision and digital image processing based methods have been proposed recently to measure the dynamic displacement of structures. Real-life structure subjected to bi-directional dynamic forces is susceptible to significant out-of-plane movement. Measuring the vibrations of structures under the out-of-plane movements using target-free vision-based methods have not been well studied. This paper proposes a target-free vision-based approach to obtain the vibration displacement and acceleration of structures subjected to out-of-plane movements from minor level excitations. The proposed approach consists of the selection of a region of interest (ROI), key-feature detection and feature extraction, tracking and matching of the features along the entire video, while there is no artificial target attached on the structure. The accuracy of the proposed approach is verified by conducting a number of experimental tests on a reinforced concrete structural column subjected to bi-directional ground motions with peak ground accelerations (PGA) ranging from 0.01 g to 1.0 g. The results obtained by the proposed approach are compared with those measured by using the conventional accelerometer and laser displacement sensor (LDS). It is found that the proposed approach accurately measures the displacement and acceleration time histories of the tested structure. Modal identification is conducted using the measured vibration responses, and natural frequencies can be identified accurately. The results demonstrate that the proposed approach is reliable and accurate to measure the dynamic responses and perform the system modal identification for structural health monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-222
Number of pages13
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Image processing
  • Modal identification
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Targetless
  • Vibration response measurement
  • Vision-based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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