Experimental Protocol

 

The primary goal of the CWST-EF is to be an integral part of NHERI, providing access to unique large-scale experimental test facilities, expert advice on experimental design and implementation to achieve research objectives of the Users, high quality data to researchers with traceable standards, efficient scheduling and cost-effective use of the facility, upholding health and safety standards for the staff and visiting personnel.

The Experimental Protocol incorporates the Test Plan, which consists on a series of activities to be executed during the study, and its associated sequence of events. Careful and open planning of physical model testing is extremely important to accomplish the desired objectives, to comply with the schedule program, and to be cost-effective. Planning of physical model tests is a continuous process, and requires a deep understanding of the processes to be simulated as well as the techniques applied. This is part of the collective experience of the CWST-EF team, including the previous experience with NEES operations 2004-2014. With clearly identified research objectives, the scope of the experimental work can be outlined, and the associated activities, milestones and durations can be planned beforehand.

Experiment design is one of the key activities of the Test Plan. The design of an experiment will follow a general protocol that has been established over time through use of the NEES Tsunami Facility 2004-2014. Because of the uniqueness of research, the experimental setup and testing procedures will need to be customized to each User. At the same time, certain aspects of the experimental design are fairly routine, and the CWST-EF will communicate these in advance to the Users. Experiment design includes the layout of the model in the facility, model construction procedures and restrictions, instrument layout, sequence of activities, and may identify or impose certain limitations or capabilities of the testing program. On many occasions, numerical modelling may be used as a complement for the experimental design, where boundary and scale effects may be identified so countermeasures can be implemented, or preliminary understanding and assessment on the processes involved can be obtained to identify the location, number and typology of instruments to be deployed for a given test configuration or environmental conditions. By these means, instrument location and data will be optimized for the project.

The CWST-EF aims to help Users with technical advice and support to researchers at any stage of the proposal preparation, test planning and design, model construction and instrumentation, and data analysis. Researchers interested in using the facilities can get additional information and guidance about the facility capabilities by contacting the HWRL Director Pedro Lomonaco.