This paper describes a signal analysis method using the Karhunen-Loe`ve (KL) transform, and applies the method to the analysis of hydrodynamic force data collected from controlled laboratory experiments. To demonstrate feasibility, the study focuses on inline forces induced on fixed cylinders exposed to oscillatory flows, with increasing Keulegan-Carpenter numbers. This preliminary example illustrates how this force makes a transition from the inertia-dominated region at low Keulegan-Carpenter numbers up into higher Keulegan-Carpenter numbers where the nonlinear effects of the flow-structure interaction can be observed through the increased influence of clearly defined modes. [S0892-7219(00)00603-8]

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