Measuring the modal parameters of a cultural heritage tower by using strong-motion signals

Mariella Diaferio, Dora Foti, Nicola Ivan Giannoccaro, Salvador Ivorra


This paper presents the dynamic experimental campaign carried out on a stocky masonry clock tower situated in the Swabian Castle of Trani (Italy). The main objective of this paper is, after estimating the main frequencies and vibration modes of the considered structure, defining the transmission of vibrations along the height of the tower by varying the forced frequency at the base. At this aim, short acceleration records have been acquired simultaneously in 20 points of the tower at different levels, due to a series of sinusoidal forced vibrations applied at the base by using a pneumatic shaker device specify designed for the tests. The proposed procedure permit to extract for each monitored point the amplitude of the sinusoidal component related to the excitation frequency and the phase shift due to the structure damping. The results of the proposed procedure are compared with the results of a classical operational modal analysis in environmental conditions in order to demonstrate that the short forced tests permit to classify the typology of the structure mode shapes.

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