This work considers a new technique for damage detection in vibration-based structural health monitoring. The technique involves exciting a structure with a low-dimensional chaotic input, reconstructing the attractor, and analyzing certain properties of the attractor for the subtle changes which may occur due to damage. Recourse is made to the Kaplan-Yorke conjecture for motivating the technique. The technique is then demonstrated in the laboratory on a beam subject to boundary clamp damage controlled by means of a special elastic clamp. The measurements are made with a special fiber optic strain measurement system whose key performance features are described.

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