CRREL Research Areas

Scientists from ERDC-CRREL and NorthWest Research Associates braved the wind and cold of the Gulf of Maine to collect data for an Office of Naval Research (ONR) project on sea spray. The project is an effort to better characterize sea spray formation in high winds and cold temperatures.
ERDC’s Drs. Chris Hiemstra and Chris Polashenski of CRREL-Alaska traveled to Barrow, Alaska, to participate in a field experiment surveying Arctic Ocean sea ice and snow.
CRREL uses the Test Basin to conduct a scaled physical model study for the U.S. Coast Guard to study the capabilities, limitations, and potential design improvements to the Coast Guard’s personnel rescue vessels in seasonal sea ice conditions encountered in coastal Alaska.

Research Areas

CRREL solves interdisciplinary, strategically important problems for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, Department of Defense, and the Nation by advancing and applying science and engineering to complex environments, materials, and processes in all seasons and climates, with unique core competencies related to the Earth’s cold regions. Polar science and engineering continues to be a core research area as we foster partnerships across government agencies, academia and industry to solve complex problems in the following areas of focus:


Collapse All Expand All
 Biogeochemical Sciences

Addressing public needs and military readiness under all of Earth's environmental and terrain state conditions by understanding the impact of biochemical interactions of natural and anthropogenic substances.

 Engineering Resources - click for CRREL-ERB
ERB delivers engineering solutions to our Warfighters and the Nation involving systems design and development, pavements and materials RDTE, and the use of environmentally controlled facilities to test, evaluate, and improve infrastructure and equipment for use in cold regions.
 Force Projection and Sustainment
To provide solutions toward sustaining operations at remote installations by understanding the impacts of extreme and austere environmental conditions on maneuver support, materiel, tactics, and military procedures in polar regions.
 Military Terrestrial Science and Phenomenology
Efforts providing a quick capability for research and development to meet joint operational needs of combatant commanders
 Polar Science and Engineering
Efforts focused on designing and proving concepts for, and unique engineering solutions to, operational problems in the Polar Regions
 Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Science (GIS) - click for RS/GIS Center
Expertise providing research and development support to the USACE for flood risk communication, levee inspection, floodplain management and risk assessment
 Signature Physics

Signature Physics provides the warfighter with solutions to understand complex operational environments and the role of terrain and weather on signals across the electromagnetic and mechanical spectrum. 

We're focused on: Signature Integration; Sub-surface Wave; and Near-surface Signatures

Core Competencies: Seismic/Acoustic sensing in complex environments; Sensor performance modeling, decision making and uncertainty analyses; Sensor based security; Unexploded ordnance discrimination and assessment; All-Season near surface phenomenology

Research Tools: Ground penetrating radar; Electromagnetic induction techniques; Seismic and acoustic real-time data collection; Intrusion detection systems; High-performance computing capability; Stochastic modeling of nonlinear effects


 Snow and Ice in Temperate and Mountain Regions
Work assessing the state of snowpacks in major snow-impacted watersheds to support combatant commands


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research & Development Center
Cold Regions Research & Engineering Lab
72 Lyme Road, Hanover, NH 03755-1290