In this paper a distributed parameter model for the estimation of modal characteristics of NASA Mini-Mast truss is proposed. A closed-form solution of the Timoshenko beam equation, for a uniform cantilevered beam with two concentrated masses, is derived so that the procedure and the computational effort for the estimation of modal characteristics are improved. A maximum likelihood estimator for the Timoshenko beam model is also developed. The resulting estimates from test data by using Timoshenko beam model are found to be comparable to those derived from other approaches.

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