In this work, we develop a technique for performing system identification in typical pedestrian bridges, using routine equipment at a minimal configuration, and for cases where actual structural data are either sparse or absent. To this end, two pedestrian bridges were examined, modelled and finally instrumented so as to record their dynamic response under operational conditions. More specifically, the bridges were numerically modelled using the finite element method (FEM) according to what was deduced to be their current operating status, while rational assumptions were made with respect to uncertain structural properties. Next, results from field testing using a portable accelerometer unit were processed to produce response spectra that were used as input to a structural identification software program, which in turn yielded the excited natural frequencies and mode shapes of the bridges. The low level of discrepancy is given between analytical and experimental results, the latter are used for a final calibration of the numerical models.
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