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 Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland
15.11.2018 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs
14.11.2018 | Uppsala 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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland

15.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

When electric fields make spins swirl

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Discovery of a cool super-Earth

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>