Yongchao Yang: Full-field Imaging and Modeling of Structural Dynamics with Digital Video Camera Sensing

Friday, February 17th
10:45 – Noon, Rice Hall Room 242

Link Lab Seminar

Yongchao Yang
Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow
Engineering Institute at Los Alamos National Laboratory


Civil structures are typically large-scale and exhibit complex behaviors under dynamic loads from operational environment (e.g., wind and traffic) as well as natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes and hurricanes) and man-made extreme events (e.g., impact and blast). High spatial and temporal resolution structural response (vibration) measurements and modeling are thus required for high-fidelity characterization, analysis, and prediction of the structure’s response. However, it is a significant challenge to obtain high-resolution structural vibration measurements using traditional techniques. For example, the widely-used accelerometers and strain-gauge sensors can only be placed at a limited number of places on the structure, providing low spatial resolution measurements. Laser vibrometers offer high-resolution measurements, but are expensive and make sequential measurements that are time-consuming. On the other hand, digital video cameras are relatively low-cost, agile, and provide remote, high spatial resolution, simultaneous, measurements where every pixel effectively becomes a measurement point on the structure.

A new full-field imaging method will be presented that enables the blind extraction and realistic visualization of the full-field, high-resolution, dynamics response of an operating structure from only its digital video measurements using video motion manipulation and unsupervised machine learning techniques. Its ability to improve a variety of structural engineering applications that traditionally have been difficult will also be shown, including detecting minute, non-visible structural damage and identifying full-field dynamic loads on the structure, both at a pixel resolution, and efficiently performing high-fidelity simulations of structural response. Laboratory experiments and real-world case studies will be demonstrated. Finally, a scalable digital video camera sensing and modeling framework is envisioned for high-resolution, wide-range infrastructure monitoring that could go beyond individual structures to infrastructure networks.

About the speaker:

Yongchao Yang is a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Engineering Institute at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He obtained his Ph.D. from Rice University in 2014 and bachelor’s from Harbin Institute of Technology, China in 2010, both in civil engineering. His expertise is in experimental and computational mechanics, system modeling and identification, and structural health monitoring. He is particularly interested in developing new structural sensing/imaging and modeling methods, combining approaches from computer vision and machine learning. He is the author of about 20 international journal publications, 3 book chapters, and 2 patents. He was a recipient of the Best Paper Award of the United Nations International Conference on Sustainable Development (New York, 2015), and a winner of the TechCrunch Disrupt NY (New York, 2016). He mentored an undergraduate student winning a 2nd place in the student competition of the IEEE Resilience Week (Chicago, 2016).

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The Link Lab seminar series is open to the University community and region.
This seminar is hosted by Professor Devin Harris.

See EVENTS for seminar details at www.cee.virginia.edu/calendar/