Engineer Dave Bloomquist may make the people living and working in buildings surrounding Ground Zero in New York City feel a little safer. The University of Florida professor is assessing the structural integrity of buildings surrounding the World Trade Center, providing more detailed and accurate information than has ever been available to recovery workers. The entirely new technique uses airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM) and ground-based laser scanning. Bloomquist's technique combines millions of laser measurements with aerial and digital images of New York City into a three-dimensional model. "Several surrounding buildings near Ground Zero may not be structurally salvageable," says Bloomquist. "There is concern that several are slowly deteriorating." He is also analyzing the Pentagon for signs of structural damage. For more information, go to www.ufl.edu.
A Tokyo company, Miraisens Inc., has unveiled a device that allows users to move virtual 3D objects around and "feel" them via a vibration sensor. The device has many applications within the gaming, medical, and 3D-printing industries.
In the last few years, use of CFD in building design has increased manifolds. Computational
fluid dynamics is effective in analyzing the flow and thermal properties of air within spaces. It can be used in buildings to find the best measures for comfortable temperature at low energy use.
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