Structural performance evaluation and optimization through cyber-physical systems using substructure real-time hybrid simulation

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Natural hazards continue to demonstrate the vulnerability of civil infrastructure worldwide. Engineers are dedicated to improving structural performance against natural hazards with improved design codes and computational tools. These improvements are often driven by experiments. Experimental testing not only enables the prediction of structural responses under those dynamic loads but also provide a reliable way to investigate new solutions for hazard mitigation. Common experimental techniques in structural engineering include quasi-static testing, shake table testing, and hybrid simulation. In recent years, real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS) has emerged as a powerful alternative to drive improvements in civil infrastructure as the entire structure’s dynamic performance is captured with reduced experimental requirements. In addition, RTHS provides an attractive opportunity to investigate the optimal performance of complex structures or components against multi-hazards by embedding it in an optimization framework. RTHS stands to accelerate advancements in civil engineering, in particular for designing new structural systems or devices in a performance-based design environment.

This dissertation focuses on the use of cyber-physical systems (CPS) to evaluate structural performance and achieve optimal designs for seismic protection. This dissertation presents systematic studies on the development and validation of the dynamic substructuring RTHS technique using shake tables, novel techniques in increasing RTHS stability by introducing artificial damping to an under-actuated physical specimen, and the optimal design of the structure or supplemental control devices for seismic protection through a cyber-physical substructure optimization (CPSO) framework using substructure RTHS.