Versatile High Performance Shake Tables Facility towards Real-Time Hybrid Seismic Testing
Andrei Reinhorn Principal Investigator
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The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Program is a project funded under the NSF Major Research Equipment Program. This cooperative agreement, under the NEES Program, establishes a NEES earthquake engineering shake table research equipment site at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY. The University at Buffalo will design, construct, install, commission, and operate two six degree of freedom (DOF) shake tables for geotechnical and structural earthquake engineering experimentation. This equipment will be operational by 2004 or earlier and will be managed as a national shared-use NEES equipment site, with teleobservation and teleoperation capabilities, to provide new earthquake engineering research testing capabilities for large/full-scale and long span structures through 2014. This NEES equipment site will be connected to the NEES collaboratory through the University's vBNS connection, with Gigabit Ethernet capabilities. Shared-use access and training will be coordinated through the NEES Consortium. This award is an outcome of the peer review of proposals submitted to program solicitation NSF 00-6, "NEES: Earthquake Engineering Research Equipment." The following equipment is provided under this award: (1) upgrade of the existing 3.6 m x 3.6 m, 50 metric ton, shake table from 5 DOF to 6 DOF by adding a transverse DOF, (2) a new, movable 3.6 m x 3.6 m, 50 metric ton, 100 Hz shake table, (3) upgrade and expansion of the existing data acquisition system to accommodate teleobservation, teleoperation, teletransmission, and telestorage, (4) data management and processing system to accommodate real-time systems, data acquisition, storage, distribution and analysis, and test instrumentation, (5) equipment for teleobservation and teleoperation capabilities so that experiments on the equipment will be observable and controllable via high performance network connections, (6) video imaging equipment with the eventual goal of streaming real-time video, and (7) sensors and measurement devices. The new shake table can be rapidly repositioned from immediately adjacent to the existing shake table to 30 m linearly from it. Together these two tables can host specimens of up to 100 metric tons, as long as 36 m, and subjected to fully in-phase or totally uncorrelated dynamic excitations. The University has committed $4 million for expansion and infrastructure improvements of the Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory in Ketter Hall on the University at Buffalo campus to house the upgraded and new equipment. This expansion includes a new research laboratory area with a strong floor and reaction walls, control room and offices for training and data processing, service areas, storage and office spaces, and a new 40 metric ton crane. The University at Buffalo will integrate this shake table equipment into its research program and undergraduate and graduate curricula, provide training opportunities for outside researchers through on site courses, host visiting scholars, and develop a web-based teleoperation simulator of the NEES equipment.