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  • Created 13 Feb 2013

About the Group

This Grant for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) investigates low-cost, strong-motion instrumentation for the earth sciences and structural engineering research communities to provide a new interdisciplinary data type: real-time, full spectrum displacements based on an optimal combination of high-rate global positioning system (GPS) and very high-rate accelerometer data. These new data both fully capture dynamic and static near-field strong motion and enable its analysis and characterization in real time. The ability to obtain full spectrum waveforms in three dimensions with millimeter precision is also a breakthrough for rapidly and fully estimating the response of large engineered structures (for example, bridges, buildings, and dams) at the full range of periods. This approach improves the timeliness of earthquake characterization by an order of magnitude and improves its fullness by spanning the full spectrum of ground deformation from the very high frequencies all the way through to direct current (DC) offsets. The project will gather perishable structural response data from five prototype sensor packages placed on the five-story building test specimen, constructed under NSF award CMMI 0936505, that will undergo strong seismic motion on the NEES outdoor shake table at the University of California, San Diego in early 2012.

The sensors enable a new technological paradigm for studying the processes of large earthquakes and the hazards they pose by taking fuller advantage of seismic and geodetic instrumentation through integration, thereby providing a new data observation type. The sensor devices have applications in the fields of seismology, tsunamis, and structural engineering, where early detection, warning or damage assessment is needed. Information gathered and processed with the device could be used by authorities and first responders in the very immediate aftermath of a strong earthquake. This project also promotes collaborative and interdisciplinary research, education of technologically sophisticated graduate and undergraduate students, strengthening of diversity in support of workforce development, and enhancement of curricula through engagement with integrated data sets that have direct societal impact.

Project Overview