Continuous Scanning Laser Vibrometry: A raison d’être and applications to vibration measurements

D. Di Maio*, P. Castellini, M. Martarelli, S. Rothberg, M.S. Allen, W.D. Zhu, D.J. Ewins

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)
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    Continuous Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometry (CSLDV) methods first appeared in the literature in the early 1990s and over the past three decades they have undergone an evolution in terms of procedures and applications which constitute a new state-of-the-art now described in this review paper. The advances in vibration measurement performed by Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometers augmented the capability of measuring vibration data from a grid of a few hundred measurement points to a single scan which traverses and measures at many thousands of points on the same structure. The deflection shapes of vibration modes can be created by assembling two pieces of information from a scanning measurement - temporal and spatial - and the more measurement ‘points’, the better the spatial density and resolution of the deflection shape(s). The introduction of Continuous Scanning techniques challenged the traditional principle that the number of measurement points defines the spatial definition of the deflection shape. Thereafter, high definition deflection shapes could be achieved by measuring a single time series from a continuously sweeping trajectory covering the same surface area that would traditionally be covered by a set of fixed-point measurements, each of which spans a range of frequencies. The CSLDV approach compresses both the temporal oscillation and the spatial distribution of the deflection shape into one LDV output-modulated signal, whereby the harmonic oscillation and the spatial distribution across a swept area were now defined by a central response harmonic and its sidebands. This change of perspective in vibration measurements from the conventional stepped-scan method to the continuous-scan approach allowed several researchers to exploit and expand the potential of the scanning vibrometer further than its initial design specifications. This paper starts with the raison d’être, with a brief historical account of how vibration measurements have developed over the past decades, and then moves to the theoretical background and applications of the CSLDV approach. Finally, the paper presents a philosophical and technical account of the research work carried out by several colleagues over the past thirty years and aims to provide a chronological order to the various advancements that CSLDV techniques offer in engineering structural dynamics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107573
    JournalMechanical systems and signal processing
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


    • UT-Hybrid-D
    • CSLDV
    • SLDV
    • Vibrations
    • Continuous scanning


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