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Lab Rates & Policies

 

Recharge Rates & Usage Fee Policies

The tables below present estimates for recharge rates, respectively for two testing scenarios (typical and advanced dynamic centrifuge tests) to be conducted by either non-NEES users or NEES users. The typical test is similar to what we did for outside users prior to NEES except for the addition of the new data acquisition system, sensors, etc. That is, this typical test costing $5810 and $500 respectively to a non-NEES user and to a NEES user, would use 1D base shaking, and would not include the use of the robot, 2D shaker, advanced sensors or teleparticipation capabilities. On the other hand, the estimates for the advanced test costing $15,010 and $1,900 respectively to a non-NEES user and to a NEES user, would include tests requiring the use of the robot, 2D shaker, high speed camera and teleparticipation. It is important to note that the estimates presented in Table 1 are based on RPI’s previous 10 years of experience in hosting outside users at our centrifuge facility, and hence are relatively accurate. On the other hand, the estimates in Table 2 for advanced tests, including full use of the new NEES equipment currently under construction, correspond to a new situation for which we have no experience; therefore the numbers in Table 2 should be considered rough estimates that may change in the future.

 

Table 1: Typical Dynamic Centrifuge Test
Activity Base Rate Non-NEES User NEES User
Total $5110 $1370
7 days of soil container use $100/day $700 $105
2 Days on the centrifuge platform $250/day $500 $125
Soil (including disposal of soil) $400/test $400 $400
Saturation system $250/test $250 $0
Viscous pore fluid $100/test $100 $100
4 hrs spinning time $100/hr $400 $200
1D Shaker Usage $1000/test $1000 $0
32 of RPI’s sensors $30/sensor $960 $320
32 DAQ channels for non-RPI sensors (strain gauges, etc.) $10/channel $320 $0
16 hrs of lab technician/engineer time $30/hr $480 $120
Table 2: Advanced Dynamic Centrifuge Test
Activities Base Rate Non-NEES User NEES User
Total $13,170 $2693
10 Days of soil container use $100/day $1000 $300
5 Days on the centrifuge platform $250/day $1000 $313
Soil (including disposal of soil) $400/test $400 $400
Saturation system $250/test $250 $0
Viscous pore fluid $100/test $100 $100
2 Days in-flight robot use (1 day for setup & 1 day for testing) $2000/day $2000 $0
2D Shaker $1500/test $1500 $0
8 hrs spinning time $100/hr $800 $400
64 of RPI’s sensors $30/sensor $1920 $640
64 DAQ channels for non-RPI sensors (strain gauges, etc.) $10/channel $640 $0
High speed camera $500/test $500 $0
4 hrs teleconferencing (can host up to 3 remote sites) $100/hr $400 $0
Test teleobservation $500/test $500 $0
72 hrs of lab technician/engineer time $30/hr $2160 $540

Site Access Plan

The RPI NEES geotechnical centrifuge site will maintain and update periodically a detailed plan for shared-used access by faculty, students and other researchers from other universities. While it is anticipated that the Plan will evolve substantially during the 2004-2014 period based on experience, including becoming increasingly detailed as shared-used patterns and potential problems emerge, a first version of this Plan is presented below:

    1. Make updated information permanently available. Updated information is available at nees.rpi.edu. The following information will be available permanently at the RPI ES NEES web site for the benefit of potential shared users and will be updated periodically:
      • Detailed descriptions of basic physical infrastructure of the facility including centrifuge, layouts, offices spaces, equipments (such as 1D and 2D shakers, containers, robot, sensors, etc.) as well as computers and teleparticipation facilities available free of charge to shared users
      • Lists of unit costs (including estimates when necessary) of additional equipments and services
      • Web-training manuals
      • Opportunities for training on centrifuge dynamic testing at the RPI and/or UC Davis NEES experimental sites
      • List of previous shared users who have already finalized their use of the RPI ES with names and telephone numbers that can be contacted by potential shared users
      • Up-to-date schedule of shared and non-shared testing at the RPI NEES ES
      • Names, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and other information of all personnel of the RPI ES, with special emphasis on the Operations Manager as main point of contact
    2. Provide assistance and advice to potential user during proposal preparation stage.The potential shared users will be strongly encouraged to contact the Operations Manager of the RPI ES during the proposal preparation stage to coordinate critical aspects such as:
      1. feasibility and probability of success of the shared user proposed test(s)
      2. degree of training needed by the shared user
      3. possible budget needed for additional equipments or services

      Based on prior experience with first-time outside users of the RPI centrifuge in the last decade, it is anticipated that generally this process will result in changes in the original tests planned, and thus in a better proposal, as the outside user interacts with the RPI staff and understands in more detail the possibilities and constraints of centrifuge model testing. If the potential NEES proposal is a collaborative research effort involving several organizations, the RPI ES will be prepared to host VTC meetings for all parties involved in the project (up to four organizations at a time).

 

    1. Actively participate in developing plan for pre-testing activities and testing schedule in collaboration with user and NEES. This stage includes pre- testing preparation which may involve on site training, finalizing model setup, testing plan, acquisitions of test specific sensors and equipment (by the NEES user), planning of accommodations, etc. We anticipate that RPI will be actively involved in all these activities in order to insure the success of the planed testing program. RPI will work jointly with NEES user and NEES in preparing the testing schedule so as to ensure that the pre-testing tasks and the actual tests are scheduled in a realistic way conducive to smooth and timely testing implementation.

 

    1. Prepare for the first stage of testing. This stage starts when the NEES user arrives to the RPI centrifuge to build the models and conduct the planned testing program. Before the arrival of a NEES user, it is RPI ES responsibility to insure that all equipment and sensors required for conducting the tests are functional and calibrated. Technicians will be available to provide assistance and advice to the NEES user. In addition, RPI will provide the NEES users with office and lab space, access to computers, Web access and photocopying.

 

    1. Perform post-testing activities. After successfully conducting the tests, RPI personnel will provide the NEES users with all needed information (sensors calibration, gains, filter setting, etc.), and will also be available to assist them in processing their data. After reviewing the test results and ensuring the quality of the data, RPI’s IT personnel will add it to the NEES data repository.

 

  1. Follow reporting guidelines. We plan on following the NEES guidelines for reporting, annual meetings etc.
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