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The NEES @ UCSD Large High Performance Outdoor Shake Table (LHPOST) provides the earthquake engineering community with a facility that allows the accurate reproduction of severe near-source earthquake ground motions for the seismic testing of very large structural and soil-foundation-structure interaction (SFSI) systems. The NEES @ UCSD equipment site is part of the National Science Foundation's nationwide earthquake engineering collaboratory, the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES). In this network, earthquake engineers and students located at different institutions around the nation and the world, are able to share experimental and computational resources and collaborate to develop better and more cost-effective ways of mitigating earthquake damage.
The NEES @ UCSD LHPOST is part of the Englekirk Structural Engineering Research Center (ESEC) at Camp Elliott, a site located 15km away from the main UCSD campus. In addition to the NEES @ UCSD shake table, the Englekirk Center houses a Soil-Foundation-Structure Interaction (SFSI) facility, funded by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), which includes a large laminar soil shear box and a refillable soil pit. The Englekirk Center also houses a Blast Simulator, funded by the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG). The combined facility is a one-of-a-kind worldwide resource for real-time testing of large structural and geotechnical systems subjected to earthquake or blast loadings.
The primary aim of the NEES @ UCSD site is to allow the performance of transformative "landmark" experiments because of their scale, completeness, realistic seismic input, extensive instrumentation and careful data archiving. The main scientific research objective of these one-of-a-kind large-scale, system type experiments is in the validation and calibration of analytical simulation tools to capture SFSI and/or system response, which cannot be readily achieved from testing at smaller scale, or under quasi-static or pseudo-dynamic test conditions.
Tests on this facility are ideal to establish benchmark performance for class A predictions, verification of actual designs (at full-scale) for construction, proof-of-concept data for institutions such as Caltrans, FEMA, or DOE, as well as a concept development platform for researchers and industry, both nationally and worldwide. The experiments also provide an excellent tool for outreach at all levels including K-12, college, news media, policy makers, infrastructure owners, insurance, etc.