Tests at the University at Buffalo show local seismic isolation and damping methods can protect sensitive electronic equipment
How do you prevent an earthquake from destroying expensive computer systems?
That’s the question earthquake engineer Claudia Marin-Artieda, PhD, associate professor of civil engineering at Howard University, aims to answer through a series of experiments conducted at the University at Buffalo.
“The loss of functionality of essential equipment and components can have a disastrous impact. We can limit these sorts of equipment losses by improving their seismic performance,” Marin-Artieda said.
• Here is a video showing one of the tests, which mimics 80 percent of the force of 1994's Northridge earthquake: http://bit.ly/1lyO1aZ.
In buildings such as data centers, power plants and hospitals, it could be catastrophic to have highly-sensitive equipment swinging, rocking, falling and generally bashing into things.
In high-seismic regions, new facilities often are engineered with passive protective systems that provide overall seismic protection. But often, existing facilities are conventional fixed-base buildings in which seismic demands on sensitive equipment located within are significantly amplified. In such buildings, sensitive equipment needs to be secured from these damaging earthquake effects, Marin-Artieda said.
The stiffer the building, the greater the magnification of seismic effects, she added.
“It is like when you are riding a rollercoaster,” she said. “If your body is relaxed, you don’t feel strong inertial effects. But if you hold your body rigid, you’ll feel the inertial effects much more, and you’ll get knocked about in the car.”
The experiments were conducted this month at the University at Buffalo’s Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), a shared network of laboratories based at Purdue University.
Marin-Artieda and her team used different devices for supporting 40 computer servers donated by Yahoo Labs. The researchers attached the servers to a frame in multiple configurations on seismically isolated platforms. They then subjected the frame to a variety of three-directional ground motions with the servers in partial operation to monitor how they react to an earthquake simulation.
Preliminary work confirmed, among other things, that globally and locally installed seismic isolation and damping systems can significantly reduce damage to computer systems and other electronic equipment.
Base isolation is a technique that sets objects atop an energy-absorbing base; damping employs energy-absorbing devices within the object to be protected from an earthquake’s damaging effects.
Marin-Artieda plans to expand the research by developing a framework for analysis, design and implementation of the protective measures.
The research is funded by the National Science Foundation. In addition to Yahoo Labs, industry partners include Seismic Foundation Control Inc., The VMC Group, Minus K Technology Inc., Base Isolation of Alaska, and Roush Industries Inc. All provided in-kind materials for the experiments.
Marti LaChance, email@example.com
Cory Nealon, firstname.lastname@example.org
University at Buffalo
Cory Nealon | newswise
Stagnation in the South Pacific Explains Natural CO2 Fluctuations
23.02.2018 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg
First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals
22.02.2018 | University of Arizona
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy