Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Partha P Sarkar


Slender structures representing civil, mechanical and aerospace systems such as long-span bridges, high-rise buildings, stay cables, power-line cables, high light mast poles, crane-booms and aircraft wings could experience vortex-induced and buffeting excitations below their design wind speeds and divergent self-excited oscillations (flutter) beyond a critical wind speed because these are flexible. Traditional linear aerodynamic theories that are routinely applied for their response prediction are not valid in the galloping, or near-flutter regime, where large-amplitude vibrations could occur and during non-stationary and transient wind excitations that occur, for example, during hurricanes, thunderstorms and gust fronts. The linear aerodynamic load formulation for lift, drag and moment are expressed in terms of aerodynamic functions in frequency domain that are valid for straight-line winds which are stationary or weakly-stationary. Application of the frequency domain formulation is restricted from use in the nonlinear and transient domain because these are valid for linear models and stationary wind. The time-domain aerodynamic force formulations are suitable for finite element modeling, feedback-dependent structural control mechanism, fatigue-life prediction, and above all modeling of transient structural behavior during non-stationary wind phenomena. This has motivated the developing of time-domain models of aerodynamic loads that are in parallel to the existing frequency-dependent models. Parameters defining these time-domain models can be now extracted from wind tunnel tests, for example, the Rational Function Coefficients defining the self-excited wind loads can be extracted using section model tests using the free vibration technique. However, the free vibration method has some limitations because it is difficult to apply at high wind speeds, in turbulent wind environment, or on unstable cross sections with negative aerodynamic damping. In the current research, new algorithms were developed based on forced vibration technique for direct extraction of the Rational Functions. The first of the two algorithms developed uses the two angular phase lag values between the measured vertical or torsional displacement and the measured aerodynamic lift and moment produced on the section model subject to forced vibration to identify the Rational Functions. This algorithm uses two separate one-degree-of-freedom tests (vertical or torsional) to identify all the four Rational Functions or corresponding Rational Function Coefficients for a two degrees-of-freedom (DOF) vertical-torsional vibration model. It was applied to a streamlined section model and the results compared well with those obtained from earlier free vibration experiment. The second algorithm that was developed is based on direct least squares method. It uses all the data points of displacements and aerodynamic lift and moment instead of phase lag values for more accurate estimates. This algorithm can be used for one-, two- and three-degree-of-freedom motions. A two-degree-of-freedom forced vibration system was developed and the algorithm was shown to work well for both streamlined and bluff section models. The uniqueness of the second algorithms lies in the fact that it requires testing the model at only two wind speeds for extraction of all four Rational Functions. The Rational Function Coefficients that were extracted for a streamlined section model using the two-DOF Least Squares algorithm were validated in a separate wind tunnel by testing a larger scaled model subject to straight-line, gusty and boundary-layer wind.


Copyright Owner

Bochao Cao



Date Available


File Format


File Size

145 pages