Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Seismic Matrix, Loaded: Earthquake Engineering Grid Alive and Simulating

06.08.2003


On Wednesday, July 30, as scientists all over the country looked intently on, a synthetic earthquake shook a half-real building.


Real steel for a virtual structure: Physical stress administered to columns in this apparatus was translated into a digital simulation of how a building made from such columns would behave in an earthquake.



Part of the structure was conventional steel: full-sized structural support columns sitting in laboratories at the University of Colorado and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

But a third support column and the building floor that rested on them, forming a typical 1-story, 2-bay component of a modern steel frame building, existed nowhere but in software on chips. They were simulations, created by grid- linked machines at the National Supercomputing Center in Illinois and elsewhere.


Physical stresses on the real columns, hundreds of miles apart, produced a set of digital signals that interacted with the virtual structure.

The result was a realistic representation of the effects of an earthquake, creating a profusion of real time data -- video images, records of stress and movements, and much more - - that was distributed by high-bandwidth connections to researchers in dozens of locations from NSF headquarters in Washington D.C. to California.

"This represents a genuinely new way of conducting earthquake engineering experiments," said Carl Kesselman, director of the Center for Grid Technologies at the University of Southern California, who was a leader of the team that created the event.

The exercise was the first full-scale multi-site virtual temblor for NEESgrid, a resource creeated to used grid-linked computing resources to provide engineers with new ways to study how earthquakes affect structures.

NEESgrid is consortium of institutions led by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC that includes USC, the Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Michigan. It is part of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) project.

The USC School of Engineering has a double involvement in the consortium. Besides the work of Dr. Kesselman´s center at the Schools´ Information Sciences Institute, Dr. Erik Johnson and the USC department of civil and environmental engineering are playing an important role.

In addition to the NCSA, the University of Illinois Mid-America Earthquake Center and UIUC department of civil engineering are also participants.

Kesselman´s longtime partners in the development grid technology at Argonne National Laboratory, the team led by Dr. Ian Foster, are also part of the consortium, as well as Argonne´s material science division, along with the Collaboratory for Research on Electronic Work at the University of Michigan.

The recent prototype experiment, called the "Multi-Site Online Simulation Test," (MOST) was designed by Dr. Bill Spencer of Illinois and Dr. Benson Shing at Colorado. Illinois grad student Narutoshi Nakata wrote the simulation code.

Kesselman and Foster´s groups created the "middleware" that allowed the experiment to proceed across continental distances, through Java interfaces.

USC´s Johnson, a structural engineer with substantial background in Information Technology, bridged the gap between Java and the Matlab computer language used by engineers.

The software and the experiment functioned as designed. "On a scale of 10, I would say it was a 9.5," said Johnson, explaining it had gone almost completely as planned, with the only glitch being a network outage that had cut the 5- hour experiment about ten minutes short.

Another experiment is planned early next year, according to Johnson.

"The goal is to create a collaborative research network by linking researchers and engineering testing facilities across the United States, and providing them with the latest computational tools," said Priscilla Nelson, NSF division director for civil and mechanical systems when NEESGrid was created in August, 2001.

"We expect this network to speed the simulations, experiments, and data analysis that lead to better seismic design and hazard mitigation."

Development of NEES will continue through Sept. 30. 2004. A community-based NEES Consortium will operate the NEES collaboratory beginning in October 2004.

Contact: Eric Mankin, mankin@usc.edu

Eric Mankin | Southern California University
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction
26.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds
25.07.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>