For modal analysis of large structures, it is unpractical and expensive to use artificial excitation (e.g., shakers). However, engineering structures are most often subject to ambient loads (e.g., traffic and wind) that can be exploited for modal parameter estimation. One difficulty is that the actual loading conditions cannot generally be measured, and output-only measurements are available. This paper proposes to explore the utility of blind source separation (BSS) techniques for operational modal analysis. The basic idea of BSS is to recover unobserved source signals from their observed mixtures. The feasibility and practicality of the proposed method are demonstrated using an experimental application.

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