Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Anthony N. Palazotto, PhD


The Air Force Institute of Technology, in conjunction with the Structural Health Monitoring branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory, is researching methods of determining effects of notch location and size on beam structures using modal frequency analysis. This thesis explores the ability to detect included notches of varying magnitudes and locations within the frequency domain of an isotropic cantilever beam. A series of experiments employing centerline-notched 2024 T3 and 2024 0 aluminum beams was used to determine whether natural frequency measurement in beam structures is a valid mechanism for damage detection. Each specimen was excited by a strain actuator and the dynamic beam response measured using a laser Doppler vibrometer, thereby obtaining eigenvalues and eigenvectors for each case. Results are analyzed for frequency degradation trends based on location, notch length, and vibration mode. Correlation is made between experimentally observed varies, ABAQUS modeling, and a series of MATLAB predictions utilizing a finite element solution approach developed by Perel and Palazotto (2002).

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number