Virginia Tech partners with VTI Instruments

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, VTI Instruments reported, with over 240 accelerometers distributed throughout the building. The facility will be 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 and 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 and 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 at VTI Instruments. “We see great benefit coming from this building, not just for education but also furthering our research in regards data acquisition and analysis.”

Virginia Tech Smart Infrastructure Laboratory

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