Virginia Tech Partners with VTI Instruments to Advance Education and Research in Infrastructure Monitoring

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The most instrumented building for vibrations in the world was recently completed. Virginia Tech's Goodwin Hall Smart Infrastructure Laboratory uses over 240 accelerometers and precision data acquisition solutions from VTI Instruments to gather data for research in fields including structural health monitoring, building dynamics, foot pattern tracking, behavioral science, and smart energy use.

CMX09 PXI Express Chassis

VTI's CMX09 PXIe Chassis

VTI and Virginia Tech were able to work side by side in the creation of a solution that would be open to expansion without sacrificing the fidelity of the instruments.

The Virginia Tech College of Engineering recently announced the completion of Goodwin Hall (formerly the "Signature Engineering Building") - Smart Infrastructure Laboratory. The Virginia Tech Smart Infrastructure Laboratory (VT-SIL) aims at advancing education and research in areas that utilize sensor information in an effort to improve the design, monitoring and daily operation of civil and mechanical infrastructure, as well as investigate how humans interact with the built environment.

Goodwin Hall is the most instrumented building for vibrations in the world with over 240 accelerometers distributed throughout the building. The facility will be extremely valuable in the improvement of research in fields including structural health monitoring, building dynamics, foot pattern tracking, behavioral science, and smart energy use.

Virginia Tech required partners in the development of the data acquisition systems for Goodwin Hall, and VTI Instruments' reputation and history as a flexible, precision DAQ provider allowed for a partnership in the development of this system to be forged.

"We required a data acquisition provider that was flexible and would work with us as a partner and not just a vendor, especially as this project evolves," said Dr. Pablo Tarazaga, Founder & Co-Director of VT-SIL. "VTI and Virginia Tech were able to work side by side in the creation of a solution that would be open to expansion without sacrificing the fidelity of the instruments."

The development of the continuous data collection system on open IVI driver standards, as well as the incorporation of COTS equipment protects Virginia Tech's capital investment and mitigates obsolescence, ensuring longevity of the DAQ system for the lifetime of the building.

By incorporating the VTI CMX09 PXIe chassis, the EMX-4250 PXIe DSA, and the EMX-2500 PXIe LXI Ethernet controller, Virginia Tech was able to create a 288 channel modular, scalable, DAQ solution distributed throughout the building on multiple floors.

VTI's incorporation of the IEEE-1588 Precision Time Protocol via Ethernet allowed easy synchronization with no additional time synchronization cabling required. With all channels synchronized, dynamic events can be tracked, analyzed, and phasing can be maintained for modal analysis.

"Working with Dr. Tarazaga and helping further the education of our future engineers brings great pleasure to us at VTI," said Tom Sarfi, VP of Product Management. "We see great benefit coming from this building, not just for education but also furthering our research in regards data acquisition and analysis."

Learn more about VTI Instruments' Precision Data Acquisition Solutions.

To learn more about the Virginia Tech Smart Infrastructure Laboratory, please visit http://www.me.vt.edu/vtsil.

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