This paper describes an interactive methodology for validation of Finite Element Models (FEM) of structures subjected to experimental tests by shaking table through the use of displacement data obtained by a 3D motion capture system, called 3DVision, installed at the ENEA Casaccia Research Centre, Roma, Italy. The system is able to detect the complete motion of retro-reflective markers placed on the structure subjected to experimental tests. The methodology provides a first FE analysis to identify the critical points in order to identify the most significant positions for the monitoring of the structure. Since the FEM, at this stage, has a degree of uncertainty in terms of material properties, loads and constraints, the next step is to perform a numerical analysis of the structure as imposing external forcing time history of the measured displacements of the most significant nodes, while the other nodes are the control points for the validation of the numerical model. The 3Dvision system provides the real input in terms of the displacements to be imposed to the FE analysis. Consequently, the results of numerical analysis obtained in terms of displacements calculated in the remaining structural nodes are compared with the experimental data of the markers fixed in the corresponding positions on the real structures. This is done at each step of the sequence of tests, so the validation procedure is interactive and the FEM model is properly calibrated and updated during the sequence of tests.
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