This Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) award supports the acquisition of a versatile, high-performance data acquisition system (DAQ) for fundamental research at the NSF Large High-Performance Outdoor Shake Table (LHPOST) at UC San Diego. To advance fundamental knowledge, it is vital to collect and disseminate highly accurate earthquake engineering experimental datasets that are well documented. Such data on system-level behavior of civil infrastructure during earthquakes--from the initiation of damage to the onset of collapse--are scarce. The MRI- enabled LHPOST facility will allow researchers to conduct in-depth seismic response studies of complex large-scale civil infrastructure systems—pushing the boundaries of knowledge on resilient communities and contributing to enhanced design codes and standards to promote public safety. Research activities will broadly impact science, technology and engineering practice and the data collected from the new DAQ system will be integrated into course work that will bring the laboratory experience into the classroom, reaching a large number of students, particularly underrepresented students.

The LHPOST is currently being upgraded from its current single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) configuration to a full six-degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) capability-- to reproduce all six components of ground motion experienced during earthquakes. The DAQ system will complement this upgrade--providing higher resolution (24-bit, 768 channels, max sampling rate of 25.6 kS/sec per channel), superior aliasing rejection with user-configurable digital anti-aliasing filters, and zero skew time between different channels, thus enabling accurate recordings from very small (ambient vibrations) to very large (seismic testing) motions. This will facilitate the generation of critical landmark datasets to support the development, calibration, and validation of high-fidelity 3D computational models of civil infrastructure systems that will progressively shift the current reliance on physical testing to simulation-based assessment and design. The instrumentation will help to enable potentially transformative research on soil-structure interaction, hybrid testing and measurement of structural response during dynamic loading. The high-quality data enabled by this instrumentation will be made available through the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) repository—serving a global community of researchers and catalyzing collaborative research.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Diego
La Jolla
United States
Zip Code