Active Bracing System: A Full Scale Implementation of Active Control
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An active bracing system has been designed, fabricated, and installed in a full-scale dedicated test structure for structural response control under seismic loads. This report presents a description of the constructed system, design specifications for the control system along with simulation studies for the design earthquake, and observed performance of the system under three actual earthquakes and other artificial loadings. Detailed design and analysis of the active system are carried out with respect to hardware development, control force constraints, and power and energy requirements. It is shown that a full-scale efficient active structural control system can be developed within limits of current technology. Simulation results provide information on performance bounds that can be expected of active systems in structural control under seismic loads and under constraints imposed by practical considerations. Installation details of the system in the building structure are presented along with the selection for fail-safe shutdown operations in case of malfunctions. Also presented are the procedures for proper maintenance and self testing which ensure continuous control with minimal resources. The observed performance under artificial loadings and actual ground motions is compared with the estimated analytical response. It is shown that the performance of the active bracing system is predictable by simple analytical procedures and efficient within the design limitations.