Natural frequencies obtained by modal analysis are important to engineers interested in predicting the dynamic behavior of structures. Traditional modal analysis involves impact testing or shaker testing, where response signal and input force are measured to obtain the transfer function. However, for large structures, input excitation force measurement may be difficult, if not impossible. Large structures may be subjected to ambient excitation; operational modal analysis (OMA), also known as output-only modal analysis, has been used for extracting modal parameters of these types of structures. The main advantage of operational modal analysis is that no artificial excitation is needed, and the analysis is based on measurements of only the output data of the system. Operational modal analysis tests are performed under the actual operating conditions of the system without any change of boundary conditions; the tests use the ambient loads as input and thus do not interfere with the normal functioning of the system. In this study, six aluminum beams of different configurations (beams with and without cuts of various lengths) were used for conducting experiments. Results based on impact test, shaker test, and operational modal analysis are presented.

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