(Dr. Kenneth Cunefare, advisor)
"Experimental Validation of the Inverse Structural Filter Force Estimation Technique"
Knowledge of applied forces on mechanical systems provides important information about the system response data. This type of data is important in many areas of engineering including system design, fatigue analysis and component maintenance. However, it is not always possible to directly measure input forces. This could be due to obstruction of normal system function due to transducer placement or inaccessibility to the input force location. A new force estimation technique, called the Inverse Structural Filter (ISF), was recently developed to reconstruct time domain force inputs based on vibratory system response data. The validation of this new method using experimental response data was proposed. A test jig was designed and fabricated to produce experimental data for the purpose of testing the ISF technique. The tests were conducted using a transient input put via an impact hammer fitted with a calibrated force transducer. The response measurements were made using a collection of rigidly mounted accelerometers and a Laser Doppler Vibrometer. The reconstructed force data was determined and compared against the actual force data produced by the impact hammer.