Thesis-2016-McCarthy.pdf (3.71 MB)
Download file

Monitoring 3D vibrations in structures using high resolution blurred imagery

Download (3.71 MB)
posted on 16.06.2016, 14:17 by David M.J. McCarthy
This thesis describes the development of a measurement system for monitoring dynamic tests of civil engineering structures using long exposure motion blurred images, named LEMBI monitoring. Photogrammetry has in the past been used to monitor the static properties of laboratory samples and full-scale structures using multiple image sensors. Detecting vibrations during dynamic structural tests conventionally depends on high-speed cameras, often resulting in lower image resolutions and reduced accuracy. To overcome this limitation, the novel and radically different approach presented in this thesis has been established to take measurements from blurred images in long-exposure photos. The motion of the structure is captured in an individual motion-blurred image, alleviating the dependence on imaging speed. A bespoke algorithm is devised to determine the motion amplitude and direction of each measurement point. Utilising photogrammetric techniques, a model structure s motion with respect to different excitations is captured and its vibration envelope recreated in 3D, using the methodology developed in this thesis. The approach is tested and used to identify changes in the model s vibration response, which in turn can be related to the presence of damage or any other structural modification. The approach is also demonstrated by recording the vibration envelope of larger case studies in 2D, which includes a full-scale bridge structure, confirming the relevance of the proposed measurement approach to real civil engineering case studies. This thesis then assesses the accuracy of the measurement approach in controlled motion tests. Considerations in the design of a survey using the LEMBI approach are discussed and limitations are described. The implications of the newly developed monitoring approach to structural testing are reviewed.


Loughborough University Graduate School



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© David M.J. McCarthy

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.