A continuously scanning laser Doppler vibrometer (CSLDV) system is capable of efficient and spatially dense vibration measurements by sweeping its laser spot along a scan path assigned on a structure. This paper proposes a new operational modal analysis (OMA) method based on a data processing method for CSLDV measurements of a structure, called the lifting method, under white-noise excitation and applies a baseline-free method to identify structural damage using estimated mode shapes from the OMA method. The lifting method enables transformation of raw CSLDV measurements into measurements at individual virtual measurement points, as if the latter were made by use of an ordinary scanning laser Doppler vibrometer in a step-wise manner. It is shown that a correlation function with non-negative time delays between lifted CSLDV measurements of two virtual measurement points on a structure under white-noise excitation and its power spectrum contain modal parameters of the structure, i.e., natural frequencies, modal damping ratios and mode shapes. The modal parameters can be estimated by using a standard OMA algorithm. A major advantage of the proposed OMA method is that curvature mode shapes associated with mode shapes estimated by the method can reflect local anomaly caused by small-sized structural damage, while those estimated by other existing OMA methods that use CSLDV measurements cannot. Numerical and experimental investigations are conducted to study the OMA method and baseline-free structural damage identification method. In the experimental investigation, effects of the scan frequency of a CSLDV system on the two methods were studied. It is shown in both the numerical and experimental investigations that modal parameters can be accurately estimated by the OMA method and structural damage can be successfully identified in neighborhoods with consistently high values of curvature damage indices.

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