College - Author 1

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 1

Architectural Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Architectural Engineering

College - Author 2

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 2

Architectural Engineering Department

Degree - Author 2

BS in Architectural Engineering



Primary Advisor

Graham Archer, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Architectural Engineering Department


This study is concerned with measuring the vibrations of similar (and seemingly identical) structures, and attempting to detect damage in the structure by identifying outliers from the data. Furthermore, this study attempts to provide a logical conclusion surrounding the MPIT software by correlating each modal analysis program with MATLAB results from testing. Light poles around Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo are the subject of this study because the variability in structure among adjacent poles is hypothesized to be insignificant. A biaxial accelerometer device was mounted to each light pole and used to collect data. Initial tests were completed on six light poles in the ARCE courtyard to standardize the tests and begin to search for vibrational outliers, thereby detecting damage. From these initial tests, frequency alone was determined inconclusive for detecting damage in the light poles. Further data was gathered from taller light poles located on Highland Drive, San Luis Obispo, with the goal of finding and comparing damping ratios to identify damage. From these tests, we concluded that comparing damping ratio is an adequate method for detecting damage in light poles. We also concluded that the MPIT software is not reliable on it’s own (without further hand calculations to provide a basis for understanding the results).