Is it possible to specify a displacement and then have STAAD analyze a frame to give me a corresponding load (the load that would have been required to produce that displacement)??
You first need to know the pattern or arrangement of the loading which will eventually cause the displacement you wish to see. This is because, there can be millions of loading arrangements which cause that amount of displacement at that node, so one needs to have an idea of which of those patterns is the one that one wants. By pattern, we are talking of details like, is the load going to consist of concentrated forces at nodes, or distributed and trapezoidal loads on members, or pressures on plates, etc. For example, any of these loads will cause a certain amount of displacement at a node along a certain direction.So, a unit load analysis would be the best approach for solving this kind of a problem. That means, all the components of the loading pattern would be represented by unit loads. Let us say that by applying a member load of 100 pounds/ft, you get 0.4 inches of displacement along global X at node 43. So, if the final desired displacement at node 43 along X is say, 1.2 inches, the applied load should be simply (1.2/0.4)*100 = 300 pounds/ft.