Speckle noise reduction for structural vibration measurement with laser Doppler vibrometer on moving platform

Yuanchen Zeng, Alfredo Nunez, Zili Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
81 Downloads (Pure)


Speckle noise is a major problem for structural vibration measurements with Laser Doppler vibrometer on moving platform (LDVom) due to its highly random, frequent, and broadband nature, especially at high speeds. This paper develops a new post-processing framework to reduce speckle noise based on a case study of LDVom measurements on railway tracks. First, the characteristics of the speckle noise are studied. As the speed increases, the speckle noise occurs more frequently, with shorter intervals, shorter durations, greater amplitudes, and broader frequency bands. Then, a three-step despeckle framework is proposed, consisting of spike detection, imputation, and smoothing. This framework works by detecting and replacing spikes, recovering false positives, and smoothing false negatives and residual noise. To showcase this framework, we use a wavelet-based method for Step 1, an ARIMA-based method for Step 2, and a Butterworth filter for Step 3. Besides, the parameter selection strategies and the alternative methods are discussed. Next, the methods are validated through qualitative comparison and quantitative evaluation using a Monte Carlo-based strategy. We demonstrate that the proposed methods effectively reduce the speckle noise at speeds of at least 20 km/h while avoiding the pseudo vibrations. Finally, we show that the LDVom successfully captures the track vibrations at dominant frequencies of 500 ∼ 700 Hz with good repeatability between different laps and good agreement with trackside measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109196
Number of pages20
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Laser Doppler vibrometer
  • Laser Doppler vibrometer on moving platform
  • Speckle noise
  • Spike detection
  • Imputation
  • Railway track

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