The NEES@Illinois Multi-Axial Full Scale Sub-Structured Testing & Simulation (MUST-SIM) facility offered a webinar to educate potential researchers on the capabilities of the MUST-SIM facility. Located on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, the MUST-SIM Laboratory is a large-scale laboratory experimentation facility that is part of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Program of the National Science Foundation. In addition to presentations on the equipment and capabilities of the facility, Q&A sessions were available to investigate how the MUST-SIM facility capabilities can be customized to address participants' specific research objectives, including research in areas outside of the earthquake engineering field. A portion of the webinar was dedicated to recent and continuing advancements of NEES@Illinois in the areas of response defined control, dense instrumentation, and 3-D Hybrid Simulation using UI-SimCor.
The primary objective of the NEES@Illinois facility is to create a physical-analytical simulation environment whereby multi-axial, full-scale structure-foundation-soil systems can be subjected to complex loading and boundary conditions representing earthquake ground motion. Actions and responses are captured by state-of-the-art instrumentation and are processed and visualized using software developed by the site.
The major physical components of the facility are the reaction structure and the loading and boundary condition boxes, or LBCBs. Each LBCB is a self-reacting assembly of actuators, swivel joints, and control software capable of imposing any combination of six actions (forces and moments) and six deformations (displacements and rotations) on specimens connected to the loading platforms of the LBCBs. The site has three (3) large LBCBs, which can be used separately or in combination. When used together the LBCBs can be controlled independently, or they can be controlled to act as a single LBCB with increased load capacity. One of the key attributes of the MUST-SIM facility is that the LBCBs may be reconfigured to accommodate a vast array of testing needs. Examples of past tests and specifications of the test equipment were presented during the webinar.
In addition to the full-scale facility, the NEES@Illinois site has a fully-operational, 1/5th-scale version of the MUST-SIM laboratory. This facility provides a realistic pre-test environment and serves as an education and outreach facility, but has also proven to be a worthy research facility in its own right.
Beyond the hardware aspects of the laboratory, NEES@Illinois has also developed the control systems and data acquisition systems used in the MUST-SIM. These systems are covered in detail.
Hybrid simulation offers the most realistic testing to mimic actual system responses and NEES@Illinois is at the forefront of this area of research. 3-D hybrid simulation using UI-SimCor, a simulation coordinator developed at NEES@Illinois, were also discussed.
Credits and References
Webinar presented by NEES@Illinois faculty and staff.
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