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Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse

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anon9303122
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Freelancer
re: Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse
anon9303122   8/16/2011 7:53:00 PM
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I think that is an unreasonable requirement or expectation for temporary structures. Mitigation through evacuation. We'll have to see what the investigation reveals but one change that might have prevented the collapse would be to ensure the covering would "sacrifice" itself and fly off to reduce the wind loads on the rest of the structure. Unfortunately, the engineer loses control of the structure once it leaves the factory and there are any number of (unapproved or unintended) things that the end users will do with these. Given enough time or money you can do almost anything. Question is, will someone want to pay for it?

mseekins
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re: Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse
mseekins   8/16/2011 8:20:29 PM
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It was reported that the NWS issued a high wind warning only 10 minutes before the disaster. In my part of the country these warnings are typically not issued until the weather event is directly overhead. Maybe a little less reliance on computer models and more human judgement at the NWS offices could get these warnings out sooner.

Robotics Developer
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re: Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse
Robotics Developer   8/16/2011 9:00:31 PM
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Given the exposed nature of the stage at the fair it would be hard to protect it and fair goers from injury/damages. I wonder what type of connection with the ground was made? What if the structure was reinforced with strong guy wires that both held it down in place and prevented side to side swaying? I was wondering what (if any) covering was on the top structure of the staging; if it looked like an airfoil to the winds then there could be a unintended set of stresses on the structure. Given the temporary nature and the possible onsite setup/assembly it is possible that the best engineered structure would not survive high winds (if for example the right number and type of connectors were not used). Just wondering, my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones and to those recovering.

Thomas
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re: Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse
Thomas "Rick" Tewell   8/16/2011 9:38:38 PM
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ummm...is this EE related?

David Ashton
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Blogger
re: Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse
David Ashton   8/17/2011 12:07:56 AM
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Does it have to be? See http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/maxs-cool-beans-blog/4218113/Do-NOT-read-this-blog-

seaEE
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CEO
re: Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse
seaEE   8/17/2011 5:32:47 AM
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Dashpots, springs, and weights can be modeled electrically. Can a truss be modeled electrically? To what extent could a structure like this be scaled down and subjected to wind tunnel tests? Also, with the continued miniaturization of sensors, it seems with some structures you might be able to create a network of stress sensors and start taking data on the forces they are subjected to.

rmalone2
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re: Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse
rmalone2   8/17/2011 3:52:45 PM
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Guy anchors can be setup quickly and economically and have proven themselves reliable in stabilizing countless numbers of guyed antenna towers in hurricane affected regions.

Thomas
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Rookie
re: Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse
Thomas "Rick" Tewell   8/17/2011 3:58:39 PM
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Nope. Just thought since it was under "EE Life" it might ought to be. This wasn't really a blog entry either...so...just sayin'.

brian_g
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Rookie
re: Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse
brian_g   8/18/2011 4:28:10 PM
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That is a good idea. Maybe they could have flags at the top of the structure that are weighted so that they only unfurl at winds above a certain speed, or a small sensor that sounds an alarm. I suppose those aren't complete solutions, but just a start.

anon9303122
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Freelancer
re: Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse
anon9303122   8/18/2011 4:48:11 PM
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But most antenna towers do not have dozens of square yards of "sails" attached to them either.

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