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Shock and Vibration
Volume 20, Issue 3, Pages 561-573

Development of Time-Reversal Method for Impact Source Identification on Plate Structures

Chunlin Chen,1,2 Yulong Li,1 and Fuh-Gwo Yuan2

1School of Aeronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
2Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

Received 1 January 2012; Revised 28 February 2012; Accepted 4 March 2012

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents a detailed study on the impact source identification of a plate structure using time-reversal (T-R) method. Prior to impact monitoring, the plate is calibrated (or characterized) by transfer functions at discrete locations on the plate surface. Both impact location and impact loading time-history are identified using T-R technique and associated signal processing algorithms. Numerical verification for finite-size isotropic plates under low velocity impacts is performed to demonstrate the versatility of T-R method for impact source identification. The tradeoff between accuracy of the impact location detection and calibration spacing is studied in detail. In particular, the effect of plate thickness on calibration spacing has been examined. A number of parameters selected for determining the impact location, approximated transfer functions and steps taken for reconstructing the impact loading time-history are also examined. Two types of noise with various intensities contaminated in strain response and/or transfer functions are investigated for demonstrating the stability and reliability of the T-R method. The results show that T-R method is robust against noise in impact location detection and force reconstruction in circumventing the inherent ill-conditioned inverse problem. Only transfer functions are needed to be calibrated and four sensors are requested in T-R method for impact identification.