Experimental Protocol


NSF-funded projects will not be charged for equipment use or technician time, and will only be responsible for project specific costs (i.e. fuel, travel, and/or modified connectors to record sensors provided by users). All non-NSF projects will be charged the full costs of using the NHERI@UTexas equipment. NHERI@UTexas recharge rates were last approved by the University of Texas Account Office in December, 2015. The recharge rates for both NSF supported projects and non-NSF supported projects are listed in Table 1.

Field tests at NHERI@UTexas are scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis. For purposes of scheduling various equipment, calendars have been created in a Google Gmail account with a calendar named neesutexas. This calendar is share publicly and can be added to users’s Google calendar by type in “neesutexas” in the “Other Calendars” field in Goggle calendar. Once users determine their schedule, users should contact the site Operations Manager (Farnyuh Menq, fymenq@utexas.edu) to add the test date to the calendar.

Most field tests include at least one of the five mobile shakers (T-REX, Liquidator, Thumper, Raptor, and Rattler), the instrumentation van or instrumentation trailer, and three University of Texas field personnel (typically the driver/hydraulics technician, field manager, and data acquisition specialist). If T-Rex, Liquidator, Raptor or Rattler is selected for a project, the tractor-trailer rig (“Big Rig”) will be needed for transportation. The fuel-supply truck will also be needed for delivering fuel and for carrying critical spare parts and tools. The number of sensors typically used for each project varies from a few to 100, depending on the project scope. All NHERI@UTexas sensors are calibrated or verified prior to testing and after each field experiment. In addition, if requested, we can fabricate special sensors, such as the push-in geophones and pore-pressure transducers used for in-situ soil liquefaction tests. However, the costs of fabricate special sensors need to be paid by the users.

Per university and liability insurance policies, only properly trained personnel from the University of Texas may operate the field equipment. If more than one mobile shaker is requested, additional UT field personnel may be required. A typical field experiment is about 10 days long, and a typical field day is about 10 hours long. It takes about 5 days to prepare, verify, and pack all equipment before the field trip, 2 to 3 days of travel to and from the site, and another 3 days to unpack, clean and verify all equipment upon return. Considering overtime pay, each field experiment typically requires a total of 1.2 to 1.5 months of effort. To avoid personnel fatigue and related safety concerns, field testing that lasts longer than about 14 days is discouraged and should be separated into two or more trips.

All NSF-funded projects can request for use of NHERI@UTexas equipment. For scheduling, please contact the NHERI@UTexas Site Manager: Farnyuh Menq, fymenq@utexas.edu.  Current test schedule at NHERI@UTexas are is listed on a public Google Calendar named "neesUTexas".

Table 1: A list of the institutionally-established user fees/recharge rates for the NHERI_EF@UTexas Experimental Facility

Rate Name Recharge Rate¹ for Non-NSF Support Project Recharge Rate¹ for NSF Support Project ² Distribution Base (Unit)
T-Rex $170.00 $27.00 per hour
Liquidator $151.00 $27.00 per hour
Thumper - Vibration $60.00 $9.00 per hour
Thumper - Highway $1.01 $0.70 per mile
Big Rig $3.79 $1.13 per mile
Instrumentation Van - Highway $0.63 $0.45 per mile
Instrumentation Trailer $267.00 $0.00 per project
Fuel Supply Truck - Highway $0.63 $0.45 per mile
Fuel Supply Truck - Small Trailer $125.00 $0.00 per project
Raptor $145.00 $27.00 per hour
Rattler $139.00 $27.00 per hour
Data Physics 16-channel Analyzer $285.00 $0.00 Per 4-channel per week
Data Physics Quattro Analyzer $263.00 $0.00 Per unit per week
VXI technology 72-channel analyzer $774.00 $0.00 Per 16-channel per week
Trillium Compact Seismometer with Taurus DAS system $474.00 $0.00 Per station per week
Cone Penetration Test Equipment $696.00 $0.00 Per week


Notes: 1. University overhead (55.5%) is not included in the rate. 2. Estimated fuel cost.