Real time hybrid simulation (RTHS) is a promising cyber-physical method for the experimental evaluation of civil engineering structures. RTHS allows for simulation of highly complicated civil engineering structures by partitioning them into numerical and physical (experimental) substructures, reducing the costs and time associated with a single test. Numerical and experimental RTHS substructures must be integrated with high fidelity at run-time. In recent years, a great deal of progress has been made to address the many challenges in conducting the physical portion of these simulations, such as hydraulic actuation and control, magneto-rheological (MR) dampers, and sensors, making RTHS a reality. However, systematic and random uncertainties developed in the physical/experimental substructure are inevitable and can have substantial impacts on the quality of the simulation results. Due to the interaction of the numerical and physical substructures in RTHS, uncertainties associated with the physical portion are amplified and degrade the quality of RTHS results. Compared to shake table testing, it has been shown that the reliability of hybrid simulation results is highly dependent upon how successfully experimental uncertainties are mitigated. Further studies are required to understand and quantify the impacts of various sources of physical uncertainties on the quality of the simulation results. In this paper, the impact of two inevitable uncertainties on the quality of the RTHS results is studied.
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