This study presents a damage detection algorithm based on the proper orthogonal decomposition technique for health monitoring of composite structures. A finite element model of a carbon/epoxy composite plate is used to generate vibration data for healthy and damaged structures. Varying levels of stiffness reduction for the elements in the damaged zone of the structure simulate impact damage. Three damage locations (center of plate, fixed end, and free end) with three damage levels for each location are investigated. Different random excitation inputs are used to introduce variation in the loading conditions of the model. The results clearly show that damage presence, location, and severity can be detected using this algorithm.

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