Approximate frequency analysis in structural dynamics

John E.T. Penny, Michael I. Friswell*, Daniel J. Inman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Frequency analysis is often used in structural dynamics, and the precautions and requirements necessary to obtain accurate results in the frequency domain are well known. However there are applications where resources limitations mean that full accuracy has to be compromised; one example is structural health monitoring using wireless sensor systems with severe constraints on power consumption and processing power. This paper investigates two approximations that may be introduced into the Discrete Fourier Transform computation, namely the quantization of the kernel function (the mono-bit FFT) and the quantization of the time signal, and considers the errors introduced into the frequency spectrum. The paper demonstrates that surprising good results may be obtained and these approximate methods should be considered during the design of systems constrained by resource limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-378
Number of pages9
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Issue number1
Early online date15 Sept 2011
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • mono-bit FFT
  • SHM
  • vibration


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