A frequency domain identification technique applicable to damped distributed structural dynamic systems is presented. The technique is developed for beams whose behavior can be modeled using the Euler-Bernoulli beam theory. External damping of the system is included by means of a linear viscous damping model. Parameters to be identified, mass, stiffness and damping distributions are assumed to be continuous functions over the beam. The response at a discrete number of points along the length of the beam for a given forcing function is used as the data for identification. The identification scheme involves approximating the infinite dimensional response and parameter spaces by using quintic B-splines and cubic cardinal splines, respectively. A Galerkin type weighted residual procedure, in conjunction with the least squares technique, is employed to determine the unknown parameters. Numerically simulated response data for an applied impulse load are utilized to validate the developed technique. Estimated values for the mass, stiffness and damping distributions are discussed.

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