Transnational Access

The Transnational Access activities (TA1-10) offer a combined and integrated access to the largest collection of high-class experimental facilities for earthquake engineering in Europe – and worldwide – including reaction walls, shake tables, bearing testing facilities and centrifuges, to two facilities for integrated studies on geotechnical site effects and engineering seismology, and to a unique infrastructure in Europe for array seismology.

TA provides to selected talented researchers access to the infrastructures for the design and the implementation of the testing campaign under several points of view. The services that will be given to the users, starting from the collaboration with national and international experts in the field, include technical assistance in the definition of the specimen, the testing setup and protocol, assistance for the proper instrumentation choice and positioning, data-processing, results interpretations and advanced numerical modeling. In addition, support will be also provided for logistic, meeting and workshop organization.

A User Group is defined as a team of one or more researchers coming from the same or different institutions/companies, jointly applying for the TA and led by a User Group Leader. A User Group is eligible for TA support under the grant when the User Group Leader and the majority of the Users work in EU member countries or EU associated countries, different from where the selected installation is located. This condition is not mandatory when the access provider is an international organization, such as an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) or other similar legal entities representing different countries. Access for User Groups with the majority of users not working in a EU or associated country is limited to 20% of the available TA budget.

Location of the TA Infrastructures:

TA provides access to the following infrastructures:
> ELSA Reaction Wall at JRC
> Shaking Table at EUCENTRE
> Bearing Tester System at EUCENTRE
> AZALEE Shaking Table at TAMARIS/CEA
> LNEC-3D Shaking Table at LNEC
> STRULAB Reaction Wall at University of Patras
> EQUALS Shaking Table at University of Bristol
> DYNLAB Shaking Table at IZIIS
> Centrifuge at University of Cambridge
> Array Seismology at NORSAR

Users are integrated into the scheduling of the infrastructure during the execution programme of each project, from the design and construction of the test specimen, to the instrumentation, experimental testing and interpretation of the results, receiving from the staff of the infrastructure all the support needed to carry out their project. A user support team is allocated to each user on a daily basis, to develop and execute the test programme, including appropriate technicians for test model fabrication, instrumentation, etc.

The infrastructure facilities are used and well prepared to host external researchers. During their stay,  external researchers are integrated with the permanent staff, from whom they receive technical and scientific assistance. Following the necessary training, users are able to fully participate in the test preparation, execution, data acquisition and results interpretation.

The users can apply for having access to the shaking table, bearing tester system, reaction wall, centrifuge infrastructures, facilities for integrated studies on geotechnical site effects and array seismology. The services that will be generally given to the users, which slightly differ according to the peculiarities of each infrastructure, are:

• first-class technical and scientific support and collaboration from the staff of the infrastructure;
• support for analytical and numerical modeling;
• technical assistance in the definition and design of the test model and of the experimental setup, in order to adapt the testing programme to the characteristics of the infrastructure;
• preliminary destructive or non destructive tests for material properties identification of the test model or of the soil used in the centrifuges;
• support for the fabrication of the test specimen(s), either in reduced or full scale;
• assistance in the design and implementation of the instrumentation, providing, within the availability constraints of the sensors stock of the infrastructure, state-of-the-art sensors, materials and components and the workmanship for their installation;
• support in the definition of the instrumentation layout focused on the key objectives of the research;
• data acquisition systems;
• assistance in the choice of the input signals;
• specimen transportation and demolition after test;
• photographic and video records of the test model before, during and after the testing campaign (including in some cases video tracking technique for the wireless displacement monitoring and structural damage analyses);
• support to data-processing, analysis and results interpretation;
• support to logistic, user hosting and meeting organization;
• travel accommodation subsistence.