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Further Developments in Dynamic Control of Earthquake Engineering Facilities


To utilise the Minimal Control Synthesis (MCS) algorithm to enhance the performance of shaking tables and reaction walls, thereby making them more valuable in the experimental aspects of earthquake engineering research. For shaking tables, this meant, in particular, to study the possibility of:

1. Sub-structuring on shaking tables;
2. Multiple-support input using several shaking tables;
3. Study of the non-linear behaviour of test pieces;
4. Control of spurious shaking table motions. For reaction-walls, there were four particular objectives:
5. To produce a pseudodynamic (PSD) algorithm which provided continuous, rather than intermittent, loading;
6. Development of the sub-structuring concept to components performed at full or large scale;
7. A servo-control system which maintains very accurate displacement and velocity control at high loading rates;
8. Computation facilities structured to control several actuators continuously.

A further objective related to shaking tables was to achieve maximum utilisation of the data obtained from expensive, non-linear, tests by use of systems identification algorithms

Expected deliverables

For all the objectives listed above, an expected deliverable was computer software for the particular purpose specified. In the majority of cases, a deliverable was a physical test piece constructed to corroborate the software for either the shaking table or the reaction wall. Thus, for example in 2, above, the deliverable was a model of a 3-pier irregular highway bridge. Overall, the expected deliverable was a group of European experimental facilities which could perform at the international level achieved in Japan and the U.S.A.
Proof of conceptual status was achieved in all objectives, and at the mid-term Project Reviews the Panel observed in its report, ".... this research is surely of world class." One outcome was the discovery that neither the U.S.A. nor Japan had reached our stage of development, and had introduced an $80 million programme of development of experimental facilities (NEES - Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation) in order to study the same issues. A second outcome was a successful follow-on RTD proposal to the Commission described as "New Fields of Research in Earthquake Engineering Experimentation" (NEFOREEE, HPRI-CT-2001-50023, 2001-2004).

Funding Scheme

LFC - Access to Research Infrastructures



United Kingdom

Participants (2)

Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Via E Fermi
21020 Ispra