This paper presents an approach for indirect identification of dynamic loads acting on a structure through measurement of structural response at a finite number of optimally selected locations. Using the concept of frequency response function (FRF), the structure itself is considered as a load transducer. Two different types of sensors are investigated to measure the structural response. These include a use of accelerometers that leads to the identification of the displacement mode shapes. The second measurement approach involves a use of strain gages since strain measurements are directly related to imposed loads. A use of mixed strain-acceleration measurements is also considered in this work. Optimum sensor locations are determined herein using the D-optimal design algorithm that provides most precise load estimates. The concepts of indirect load identification, strain frequency response function (SFRF), displacement frequency response function (DFRF), along with the optimal locations for sensors are used in this paper. The fundamental theory for strain-based modal analysis is applied to help estimate imposed harmonic loads. The similarities and differences between acceleration-based load identification and strain-based load identification are discussed through numerical examples.

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