Earthquake-strength testing

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ESA - European Space Agency


Typically ESA’s shaker tables are used to replicate the powerful vibration of a rocket taking off. The 8-tonne cooling system seen here is instead being subjected to a simulated earthquake – but still casting a chilly blast of air towards the engineer observing the test.

Manufactured by Munters in Belgium, this mammoth 6 x 4 x 5 m cooling system is designed to remove heat from industrial-scale data centres while using just a fifth of the energy of traditional designs.

The company brought it three hours by road to ESA’s Test Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, to prove it can carry on running even in the midst of a Richter7-8 earthquake, to satisfy stringent Japanese safety requirements.

Testing was performed on ESA’s Hydra multi-axis hydraulic shaker, the Test Centre’s single most powerful shaker.

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