In order to assess the effects of vortex-induced vibration (VIV) and to ensure riser integrity, field monitoring campaigns are often conducted wherein the riser response is recorded by a few data sensors distributed along the length of the riser. In this study, two empirical techniques–proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) and weighted waveform analysis (WWA)–are sequentially applied to the data; together, they offer a novel empirical procedure for fatigue damage estimation in an instrumented riser. The procedures are briefly described as follows: first, POD is used to extract the most energetic spatial modes of the riser response from the measurements, which are defined only at the available sensor locations. Accordingly, a second step uses WWA to express each dominant POD mode as a series of riser natural modes that are continuous spatial functions defined over the entire riser length. Based on the above empirically identified modal information, the riser response over the entire length is reconstructed in reverse–i.e., compose identified natural modes into the POD modes and, then, assemble all these dominant POD modal response components into the derived riser response. The POD procedure empirically extracts the energetic dynamic response characteristics without any assumptions and effectively cleans the data of noisy or less important features; this fundamental application of WWA is used to identify dominant riser natural modes–all this is possible using the limited number of available measurements from sensor locations. Application of the procedure is demonstrated using experimental data from the Norwegian Deepwater Programme (NDP) model riser.

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