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 NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters
17.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline
16.10.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>