I am having trouble understanding the impulse response function. I have a beam of 10 m long. I place 2 sensors, one at point A and one at point B. I then excite the beam at point E (shown in picture) by tapping it with a hammer. I then repeat this on several different beams of different lengths, dimensions, materials and more. I want to tap the beam to see how the beam responds, using accelerometers at locations a and b, and see if I can estimate things about the beam (example material).
In the case of calculating impulse response, what exactly is my input? I assume it is the excitation signal, however I do not measure the excitation signal until it gets to point A (there is no sensor at point E). I therefore do not know the excitation at the source, it just be with a hammer hitting the beam. The matlab documentation uses inputs as an example, but this does not mean anything to me as I do not know my input. Also, what does the impulse response actually tell me? How is this useful?
I am using matlagb. Gracias todos, Ben