Remote Assessment of Snow Mechanical Properties for Vehicle Mobility Prediction

Challenge:  Predicting vehicle performance in northern and snow covered terrain where seasonal terrain data does not exist and for vehicles that have never been used in northern operations.


Capability to infer snow mechanical property and vehicle performance using remotely sensed geospatial terrain data.


•Globally available snow property predictions needed for ground vehicle operations

•Physics-based mobility models suitable for insertion into the next generation of mobility models

•Understanding of the mechanics of vehicle movement in snow applicable to the current vehicle fleet

•Northern terrain analysis capabilities providing a basis for future (and autonomous) vehicle requirements


•Snow mechanical property measurement techniques developed in cold rooms and field conditions

•Collection of remotely sensed satellite data (WV2/3, TerraSARX, Sentinel) in conjunction with snow vehicle performance and strength measurements

•Development of first order principle physics-based snow mobility model

•Experiments with ground-based radar for snow physical property measurement

Results and Transition

Experiments will provide data for

•using remotely sensed data to infer snow mechanical properties that can be distributed geospatially

•Development of physics-based mobility models for use in the Next Generation mobility models