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LabView examines structural health of Olympic venues

Posted: 28 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LabView? venues structural health? Olympics Beijing?

The China Earthquake Administration (CEA) has selected a structural health monitoring (SHM) solution developed by National Instruments Alliance Partner CGM Engineering Inc. based on the NI LabVIEW graphical system design platform and NI CompactRIO programmable automation controllers. The systems are designed to aid engineers in conducting structural health research on seven recently constructed megastructures in China including both of the main venues for the 2008 Summer Olympicsthe Beijing National Stadium and the National Aquatics Center.

"The main objective of this civil engineering project is to develop a state-of-the-art solution to monitor structural health characteristics including stability, reliability and livability in real time by using contemporary computing, sensor and communication technology," said Chris McDonald, vice president of CGM Engineering. "Our systems are designed to capture the vibrational signatures of structures and detect any sudden shifts of structural characteristics to improve structures and help reduce the loss of life and property when catastrophic events such as earthquakes, hurricanes or fires occur."

The nine 64-channel and two 36-channel SHM systems each contain multiple CompactRIO controllers that directly connect to accelerometers for vibration measurements and an external GPS receiver for inter-chassis synchronization. Within each chassis, the LabVIEW FPGA Module is used to synchronize each measurement channel to within ?10 microseconds of the GPS-disciplined clock. The LabVIEW Real-Time Module also is used to program user-configurable filtering to prevent unwanted noise from interfering with the low-frequency measurements being acquired. Each system is encapsulated in a rugged NEMA enclosure, which permits the unit to operate in high humidity and temperatures ranging from -40C to 70C.

The SHM system performs continuous, real-time monitoring at each location, and engineers can remotely access the locally stored data from anywhere in the world via secure Internet connections. Additionally, engineers can configure the systems using either a single or multivariate architecture to send e-mail notifications when events occur.

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