Shake Table II




Study Structure Performance by Simulating Earthquake in Your Lab

The Quanser Shake Table II is a bench-scale single-axis earthquake simulator ideal for teaching structural dynamics, vibration isolation, feedback control, and other control topics related to earthquake, aerospace and mechanical engineering. With pre-loaded acceleration profiles of real earthquakes, such as Northridge, Kobe and El-Centro, students can study their effects on buildings, bridges and various materials. As a typical application, the Shake Table II can excite the flexible modes of a tall structure in order to design, implement, and evaluate a control system to manipulate and dampen the structural vibrations. Students learn how to:

  • obtain the open-loop transfer function model
  • design a PID-based controller to control position of the shake table’s stage
  • calculate bandwidth curves based on the imposed position, velocity and acceleration limits of the shake table

Shake Table II has been also used in outreach programs involving community services and K-12 education, as well as for undergraduate student competitions, such as Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition and NEES Bridge Seismic Design Competition.

Create a Configuration That Suits your Needs

Developed in cooperation with the University Consortium on Instructional Shake Tables (UCIST) and recommended by the Consortium to institutional members, the Shake Table II offers a wide table-top surface which can accommodate several structures, such as Quanser 1 Floor and 2 Floor Active Mass Dampers, to increase the complexity of the experiment. Also, two Shake Tables II can be coupled for dual-axis, x-y operation. Also, additional earthquake acceleration profiles can be downloaded from the PEER Strong Motion website.

How It Works

The Shake Table II consists of a top stage driven by a powerful motor that allows it to achieve an acceleration of 2.5 g when loaded with a 7.5 kg mass.

The stage rides on two ground-hardened metal shafts using linear bearings, which allows for smooth linear motion with low path deflection. The stage has a total travel of 15.2 cm (i.e., ± 7.6 mm from center position).

The Shake Table’s motor is a 400W high-powered 3-phase brushless DC actuator. The motor contains an embedded high-resolution encoder that allows the position of the stage to be measured with an effective linear resolution of 1.55 μm. An analog accelerometer mounted on the Shake Table II platform measures the acceleration of the stage directly.

The Shake Table II can be easily programmed through a Graphical User Interface environment. The provided software eliminates any need for hand coding while enables to monitor and analyze the response. For a more flexible operation and control design, you can use MATLAB®/Simulink® via QUARC®.

Quanser-developed Courseware Included

The Quanser Shake Table II system comes with Quanser-developed courseware. The comprehensive Laboratory Guide, User Manual, Quick Start Guide, pre-designed controllers and a dynamic model allow you to get your lab running faster, saving months of time typically required to develop lab materials.


  • Single-axis operation, or dual-axis operation using two Shake Tables II
  • Precise and accurate positioning using high-resolution encoder and low-backlash guide
  • Ball-screw mechanism for robust actuation
  • Easy integration of user-built structures, third-party sensors and actuators
  • Designed and built for the University Consortium on Instructional Shake Tables
  • Standalone software operation using Shake Table II software or
  • highly-flexible operation and control design using MATLAB®/Simulink® via QUARC® control software
  • Supports scaling and playback of earthquake data
  • Shared lab resources contributed by a large community of users
  • Integrated safety features and limits
  • Fully documented system models and parameters
  • Open architecture design, allowing users to design their own controller

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