Teams of international researchers are converging on a valley in eastern Portugal this spring to capture granular data on wind moving over rough terrain. The goal is to develop high-quality reference data to validate computer models used in the siting, design and operation of wind turbines. Further, it is expected to aid in the prediction of how air pollution settles into valleys and in the navigation of aircraft over gust-prone, mountainous landscapes.
“We are going to cover with instruments a valley 7-kilometers-long by 2-kilometers-wide and, [for] the area outside, out to 1 kilometer,” says Harindra Joe Fernando, a fluid-dynamics engineer in the University of Notre Dame’s Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering and co-leader of the U.S. researchers. The U.S. team is funded by $3.4 million from the National Science Foundation. Teams from the eight European countries involved are funded by the EU. The project is described in the Feb. 16 issue of Nature magazine.
Because it can moderate the damaging effects of earthquakes, base-isolation is a technique used primarily in seismically active regions. ENR takes a look at some of the largest applications of base-isolation technologies in the world.