Experimental monitoring of bridge frequency evolution during the passage of vehicles with different suspension properties

Daniel Cantero*, Patrick McGetrick, Chul Woo Kim, Eugene OBrien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)


The natural frequencies of coupled vehicle-bridge systems change with vehicle position. These changes are generally attributed to the contribution of the additional mass of the vehicle. However, other mechanical properties of the vehicle influence the evolution of the vehicle-bridge system frequencies, an aspect that has rarely been addressed. The aim of this paper is to further explore how frequencies vary during a vehicle passage and empirically show that the frequency shift depends also on the vehicle-to-bridge frequency ratio. The responses of a scaled model of a vehicle traversing a bridge are measured and analysed. The signals are processed in the time-frequency domain to assess the non-stationary and non-linear nature of the responses. The interpretation is supported with the predictions of a coupled vehicle and bridge numerical model. The results confirm different frequency shifts for vehicles with the same mass but different suspension properties. Furthermore, the direct (sensor on bridge) and indirect (sensor on vehicle) methods of extracting the bridge fundamental frequency are compared. The implications of these findings for indirect or drive-by bridge monitoring techniques are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-219
Number of pages11
JournalEngineering Structures
Early online date04 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019


  • Bridge drive-by monitoring
  • Dynamics
  • Non-stationary system
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Vehicle-bridge interaction
  • Wavelets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental monitoring of bridge frequency evolution during the passage of vehicles with different suspension properties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this