Building Shaker Quake Machine
How will a tall building react to earthquake-like stresses? Computer modeling has helped until now. However, there is nothing like a good, real-world test. Engineers from the San Diego Supercomputer Center have combined the best of both worlds by putting up a full-size 275 ton building on a shake table.
(The real-world building)
Not just any shake table - the world's largest outdoor Large High Performance (LHP) shake table developed for the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) project.
The building was equipped with hundreds of sensors to yield precision data on how the building flexed during simulated quakes. It turned out that listening to audio and sensor data provided the key to comparing the film footage of the real building, and the pictures of the simulated building structure.
"By recreating the shake table experiment in movies in a virtual environment based on the observed data, this lets engineers explore all the way from viewing the 'big picture' of the entire building from a 360-degree viewpoint to zooming in close to see what happened to a specific support," said SDSC visualization scientist Amit Chourasia. "Integrating these disparate data elements into a visual model can lead to critical new insights."
(The computer model of the building under stress)
The simulations show how the specific parts of the building are moving. Comparing the real-world data with the computer model helps them improve their model; this improves the accuracy of the model when simulating the effects of stronger quakes.
Is it possible to build a structure that moves and adjusts to quake-induced stresses, one that intelligently analyzes the movements and counteracts them? Not yet. But in the imagination of Vernor Vinge, author of Rainbows End, an excellent 2006 novel, there is a way - he calls it house-of-cards construction:
You could feel the wall sway gently back and forth as the building kept its balance. That sort of thing made his ma real nervous. "One second of system failure and everything will fall apart!" she had complained...
(Read more about house-of-cards construction)
Read about a new technique that might be a first step to a real-world self-healing house. Find out more about the shake table experiments here and
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/17/2007)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.' - HG Winters, 1939.
Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...' - Isaac Asimov, 1965.
ODYSSEUS Solar-Powered Stratospheric Plane Flies Forever
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...' - EB White, 1950.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Datagrid Model Generation Perfect For Eternal Cities Of Science Fiction
'... there was enough flexibility to allow for wide variation.
Kazahk Ironist Protester Arrested For Blank Sign Protest
'...a man carried a white rectangular sign, blank on both sides.'
Bitcoin Surges Again, To $7,000
'... electronic, private cash, unbacked by any government, untraceable, completely anonymous.'
China Develops Taste Testing Robots
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'
North Sea Stone Age Reconstruction And Philip K Dick
'Your Dip digs back into antiquity. Rome. Greece. Dust and old volumes.'
Tesla Robotaxis Will Automatically Recharge Themselves
'Then it appeared to make up its mind, and trundled over to a wall socket...'
New Lifelike Material Powered By Artificial Metabolism
'... The biological robots were not living creatures.'
Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD
'Gramp Stevens sat in a lawn chair, watching the mower at work...'
Elon Musk Foretells Tesla Sans Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'
Adversarial Patches Trick Computer Vision
'The surveillance cameras can all see it, but then they forget they’ve seen it.'
Amazon Warehouse Computer Can Fire People Now
'The system has already fired five people...'
BrainEx Restores Some Activity To Severed Pig Head
'... they placed the brain in a special solution, having all the properties of Nursing the brain cells.'
Yes, But Do Astrobees Have Lasers For Lightsaber Training?
'... Ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.'
'Young Razorbacks Before Their Katanas Grow In'
'Twin robotic arms with gleaming three-foot sword blades unfolded from the forward hydraulic assemblies...'
A New Way To Run Into Things
'He made an adjustment, pointed the tube at the wall beside Etzwane, and projected a cone of light.'
'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories