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Category: Research
  • Underwater Carbon Fiber–Reinforced Polymer (CFRP)–Retrofitted Steel Hydraulic Structures (SHS) Fatigue Cracks

    Purpose: Recent advances in the use of fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) to retrofit steel structures subjected to fatigue cracks have shown to be a viable solution for increasing fatigue life in steel hydraulic structures (SHS). Although several studies have been conducted to evaluate the use of FRP for retrofitting metal alloys and the promising potential of such has been well-demonstrated, the application has never been implemented in underwater steel structures. This Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering Technical Note presents the implementation of FRP patches to repair fatigue cracks at Old Hickory Lock and Dam miter gate.
  • Suggested Updates for the Inclusion of Guidance on Ultra-High Performance Concrete to USACE Engineering Manual 1110-2-2000, Standard Practice for Concrete for Civil Works Structures

    Abstract: Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) is a relatively modern class of concrete with properties that include very high compressive strengths, increased tensile strengths, very low permeability, and superior durability compared to conventional, normal-strength concrete. As research of this material continues to progress, its applications under both military and civil works categories expand. However, mixture and structural design guidance using UHPC is limited, particularly in the United States. This special report provides an overview of UHPC as initial guidance for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) so that the material may be more easily utilized in civil works infrastructure. The information contained in this report is based on years of experience researching and developing UHPC at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and is intended to be a basis for the incorporation of this material class into USACE Engineer Manual (EM) 1110-2-2000, Standard Practice for Concrete for Civil Works Structures, when it is next updated.
  • Assessment of LEED 2.2 and LEED 2009 Implementation in Meeting Army SDD Policy Goals

    Abstract: This report describes our analysis of how Army Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification data demonstrates success in meeting Army sustainable design and development (SDD) policy goals. Specifically, the research team evaluated how LEED 2.2 and v2009 credits related to Army SDD policy objectives, then identified trends over time in Army LEED 2.2 and v2009-rated Projects. This is a historical assessment of actual project data, captured before the Army transitioned to the newer LEED v4. This report explains how implementation of LEED NC 2.2 and v2009 credits helped Army projects achieve SDD policy objectives. Emphasis was placed on LEED credits that directly related to SDD policy requirements which Army construction and major renovation projects needed to meet. Figures throughout the report illustrate how many Army LEED certified projects earned LEED New Construction credits 2.2 from FY2009 to FY2016 and LEED v2009 credits from FY2011 to FY2016. Some figures also rank the LEED 2.2 and LEED v2009 credits from most popular to least popular. Implementation of the Army’s 2013 SDD policy requiring LEED certification has allowed analysis of how Army military construction (MILCON) projects achieved energy, water, and waste goals on a large scale.
  • Safe and Rapid Development of Advanced Materials: A Research Case Study for Safe Development of Nanoenabled Environmental Sensors

    Abstract: The enhanced understanding of nanomaterials properties and processing has led to increased use of nanotechnologies, which has also led to greater scrutiny on the commercialization and acquisition of emerging nanoenabled technologies. Caused by knowledge gaps on the unique behaviors, risks, and liabilities of novel engineered nanomaterials, this caution, when not evidence based, slows production and stifles innovation. Reducing the uncertainty surrounding the environmental risks and benefits of nanoenabled technologies, including their resilience in harsh environments, will speed the development and transition of advanced material technologies. In this work, a multifaceted research program generated data and processes to reduce that environmental uncertainty. Specifically, this case study examined printed, nanoenabled environmental sensors and their components to develop toxicological data and parameterize a life-cycle assessment. The study tested the sensors’ resilience in environmental weathering studies that considered both the potential release of the ingredient nanomaterials and the performance of the sensors after exposure to several harsh environmental climates and then created life-cycle inventories to determine environmental impact and reduce cost of research and development. Finally, this case study developed software tools to mitigate the cost of research and provide a framework for presenting toxicology data.
  • Automatic Identification System (AIS) Data Case Study: Vessel Traffic through the Yaquina Bay Breakwater at Newport, Oregon

    Abstract: The navigation staff at US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Portland District (NWP) asked for information on vessel transits through the two existing openings in the breakwater on the north side of Yaquina Bay in Newport, Oregon. Currently, no authorized federal channel passes through the breakwater openings; however, the design for a possible federal channel is under consideration. NWP staff were interested in historical vessel transits, with a special focus on isolating transits for the largest (i.e., longest) vessels, identified as vessels 80 feet or longer, currently utilizing the area inside the breakwater. The Automatic Identification System Analysis Package (AISAP) software created by USACE-ERDC (2018) was used to analyze vessel traffic.
  • A Large-Scale Community Storm Processes Field Experiment: The During Nearshore Event Experiment (DUNEX) Overview Reference Report

    Abstract: The DUring Nearshore Event EXperiment (DUNEX) was a series of large-scale nearshore coastal field experiments focused on during-storm, nearshore coastal processes. The experiments were conducted on the North Carolina coast by a multidisciplinary group of over 30 research scientists from 2019 to 2021. The overarching goal of DUNEX was to collaboratively gather information to improve understanding of the interactions of coastal water levels, waves, and flows, beach and dune evolution, soil behavior, vegetation, and groundwater during major coastal storms that affect infrastructure, habitats, and communities. In the short term, these high-quality field measurements will lead to better understanding of during-storm processes, impacts and post-storm recovery and will enhance US academic coastal research programs. Longer-term, DUNEX data and outcomes will improve understanding and prediction of extreme event physical processes and impacts, validate coastal processes numerical models, and improve coastal resilience strategies and communication methods for coastal communities impacted by storms. This report focuses on the planning and preparation required to conduct a large-scale field experiment, the collaboration amongst researchers, and lessons learned. The value of a large-scale experiment focused on storm processes and impacts begins with the scientific gains from the data collected, which will be available and used for decades to come.
  • AIS Data: An Overview of Free Sources

    Abstract: The purpose of this Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering technical note (CHETN) is to describe the sources of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data available to the public, with a focus on federal employees who may need AIS data to carry out their official duties. AIS data, in this context, refer to both real-time and historic vessel position information.
  • USACE R&D FY22 Annual Report

    Abstract: This annual report has been compiled to meet our Commanding General’s intent to better “tell the story” of the innovative R&D being conducted by USACE, and specifically the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, to support the nation and assist USACE in meeting its R&D missions in the areas of Civil Works, Warfighter Support, Installations and Operational Environments, and Support for Others.
  • Estimating Present Value Cost of Invasive Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) on USACE Project Lands

    PURPOSE: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is responsible for stewardship of approximately 12.5 million acres across the United States. USACE’s Environmental Stewardship program mission is to protect, preserve, and restore significant ecological resources on USACE project lands. Since the early 2000s, non-native and invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in the US, becoming the most destructive and costly invasive forest insect in North America. This research effort estimates the cost of managing EAB damage to USACE projects including treatment, removal, or removal and replacement of dying/dead ash trees. The results suggest potential impact to more than 122,800 USACE project acres in currently infested counties including 181,000 ash trees. While not all damaged trees require removal, many USACE recreation sites have ash trees that pose an increased risk to humans and structures thus requiring removal of EAB infected trees. The widespread and pervasive impacts of EAB will have significant costs associated with removal and replacement of ash trees that could be hazardous to recreational users at the projects. Data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database, and methods developed by Kovacs et al. (2010) were utilized to calculate yearly present value costs of EAB to USACE projects from 2006-2026. Overall EAB impacts are estimated at $121.6 million across 201 USACE projects evaluated in this study. Increased efforts to limit EAB spread and perform measures of control are warranted to reduce potential cost to USACE.
  • Sustainable Sediment Management at US Army Corps of Engineers Reservoirs

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) maintains and operates 419 reservoirs nationwide for diverse purposes. This infrastructure is essential to the nation’s continued economic progress and provides numerous benefits. Sedimentation in reservoirs causes the loss of storage capacity, leading to interference with operations, reduction of project benefits, and can eventually render project operation technically infeasible or uneconomical. All reservoirs trap sediment, and sustainable long-term operation can be achieved only if sedimentation is managed. With many of the USACE reservoirs now reaching 50 years of age, sedimentation is starting to encroach on the beneficial pools. Under the paradigm of sustainable use, it is important to identify and implement strategies to sustain reservoir operation in the long term, beyond the period contemplated in the original project design life. This report outlines the major types of sediment management strategies available for reservoirs. Because the rate of new reservoir construction by USACE is very low, this report focuses on remedial strategies at existing reservoirs and presents a general methodology for the preliminary analysis of such sites. This report examines four example USACE reservoirs with known sedimentation issues to highlight the types of problems encountered and the development of strategies that can lead to sustainable use.