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A Web Accessible Shaking Table Experiment For The Remote Monitoring Of Seismic Effects In Structures

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Virtual and Distance Experimentation

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.126.1 - 9.126.13



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Paper Authors

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Mazen Manasseh

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Kevin Amaratunga

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Eduardo Kausel

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2426

A Web-accessible Shaking Table Experiment for the Remote Monitoring of Seismic Effects in Structures

Mazen Manasseh, Eduardo Kausel, Kevin Amaratunga

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology


A remotely accessible system for controlling shake table laboratory experiments is presented. The Shake Table WebLab at MIT s Civil Engineering Department is implemented under the iLab initiative for the development of educationally oriented remote experiments. The fully functional system allows students and researchers to subject a model structure to vibration at its base while receiving accelerometer readings in real time from three different levels as the experiment proceeds. Registered Internet users can upload their own input data, such as seismic ground accelerations for a newly occurred earthquake, and therefore assess the behavior of a real structure to that earthquake. Two main characteristics of the developed web-based application are interactivity, provided through synchronized control/response processes, and sensor- based monitoring of the experiment, which are essential for real-time interactivity. The system is built on the dot-Net Framework through server-hosted Active Server Pages and browser-embedded Windows Form Controls. Web Service methods are implemented for initiating remote processes on the control server. In this paper, we state the motivations for this project, describe the various online activities and generic administrative features, and provide a description of the implemented technologies and system components.

1. Introduction

Recent efforts in engineering education have focused on supplementing traditional means of experimentation with virtual laboratories that are remotely accessible through the World-Wide Web (WWW), despite allegations that such a shift from the physical laboratory environment to an online experimentation space detaches students from irreplaceable real-world experiences gained through physical interaction with a laboratory setup2. For instance, a laboratory presence is invaluable when conducting experiments on reinforced concrete members or soil samples, inasmuch as visualizing material behavior is crucial to learning. For these reasons, the primary goal of virtual experiments should be to improve the quality of learning, and not to supplant real

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Manasseh, M., & Amaratunga, K., & Kausel, E. (2004, June), A Web Accessible Shaking Table Experiment For The Remote Monitoring Of Seismic Effects In Structures Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14115

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