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  • Other Social Effects and Social Vulnerability Analysis: Existing Resources

    Purpose: The following technical note (TN) provides a summary of existing resources available to the US Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) districts that address benefits in the Other Social Effects account for evaluating the effects of water resource projects. Consideration of social factors is key to a complete, robust, water-resources analysis, and these resources provide planners and project development teams with approaches and tools for their consideration. "social effects—the constituents of life that influence personal and group definitions of satisfaction, well-being, and happiness —OSE Primer, 3" This TN is limited in scope and does not cover ecosystem goods and services or environmental-quality metrics that can also be used to assess benefits outside of economic benefits from water-resource projects. The following resources and their associated metrics are presented in a manner that is focused on assisting districts during the project-planning phase, although the metrics can be used to assess benefits or impacts during other project phases as well (for example, construction, operations, and maintenance).
  • Adversarial Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Military Operations

    Introduction: Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are at the forefront of current research to help military analysts deal with triaging ever larger amounts of data from deployed sensors. These automated approaches will become increasingly embedded into the military decision making process, which makes it crucial to understand how these algorithms generate outputs and how sensitive they are to perturbations during training or classification. In other words, humans must have a ‘theory of mind’ for these sets of approaches in order to begin to trust them enough to make life or death decisions. Research in this area is known as adversarial examples for artificial intelligence / machine learning. Previous works in this domain focused on degrading classification performance with respect to added noise to new data. Some of these works achieved notable results on image data by subtly increasing noise, such that the image appeared unaltered to the human eye, but significantly impacted performance (Athalye et al. 2017). Povolny and Trivedi (2020) achieved similar results, but made a small visually obvious change to induce a degradation in performance. One notable work examined the effects of an increase in physical scale of the sensed environment (such as the large areas recorded for remote sensing platforms) on adversarial perturbations (Czaja et al. 2018). This technical note (TN) describes an initial foray into understanding how physical changes to the appearance of military vehicles resulted in performance degradation for a convolutional neural network (CNN). The military vehicles chosen were the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the M1064 Mortar Carrier. As stand-ins for the actual vehicle, plastic scale models were used, each a 1/35 scale replica. The results of this research have yielded a curated training and test data set of images related to the M2 and M1064, trained models based on a combined ResNet / Inception implementation from the Keras project, and adversarial examples mocked up using the scale models with images taken by a smartphone.
  • Two Years of Post-Project Monitoring of a Navigation Solution in a Dynamic Coastal Environment, Smith Island, Maryland

    Abstract: In 2018, jetties and a sill were constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers adjacent to the Sheep Pen Gut Federal Channel at Rhodes Point, Smith Island, Maryland. These navigation improvements were constructed under Section 107 of the Continuing Authorities Program. Material dredged for construction of the structures and realignment of the channel were used to restore degraded marsh. Following construction and dredging, 2 years of monitoring were performed to evaluate the performance of navigation improvements with respect to the prevention of shoaling within the channel, shoreline changes, and impacts to submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). Technical Report ERDC/CHL TR-20-14 describes the first year of post-project monitoring and the methodologies employed. This report describes conclusions derived from 2 years of monitoring. While the navigation improvements are largely preventing the channel from infilling, shoaling within is occurring at rates higher than expected. The placement site appears stable and accreting landward; however, there continues to be erosion along the shoreline and through the gaps in the breakwaters. SAV monitoring indicates that SAV is not present in the project footprint, even though turbidity is comparable to the reference area. Physical disturbance of the bottom sediment during construction may explain SAV absence.
  • Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River Basins, North Carolina, Geomorphic Summary Report

    Abstract: The Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River Basins are neighboring basins in eastern North Carolina, both originating in the piedmont physiographic region, transitioning to coastal plains, and emptying into Pamlico Sound. The Pittsburgh District is responsible for the continued efforts to assist local sponsors with managing these basins and submitted a Water Operations Technical Support (WOTS) request. The WOTS program, funded by Headquarters, US Army Corps of Engineers, provides funding for the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) to provide technical assistance to develop innovative solutions to water resource problems. The objectives of this study are to identify flood risk management alternatives to address the accumulation of woody debris in the channel systems. CHL compiled existing conditions information and researched current and potential new methods for managing woody debris to provide a comprehensive list of recommendations. The results and recommendations are provided in this document.
  • Development of a Two-Dimensional HEC-RAS Sediment Model for the Chippewa River, Wisconsin, for Software Development and Sediment Trend Analysis

    Abstract: This US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Regional Sediment Management technical note (RSM-TN) describes an RSM effort that converted a one-dimensional (1D) sediment transport model of the Chippewa River confluence with the Mississippi River into a two-dimensional (2D) model. This work leveraged recent sediment data collection and tested the new 2D sediment transport capabilities in the Hydrologic Engineering Center, River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) Version 6.0. In addition to the benefits of software testing, the resulting model developed through this effort can provide more accurate spatial and temporal information about sedimentation in the Mississippi River navigation channel and help inform future dredging strategies for the St. Paul District, USACE.
  • Simulated Herbicide Spray Retention on Floating Aquatic Plants as Affected by Carrier Volume and Adjuvant Type

    Abstract: Foliar delivery of herbicides is a common means for plant management in aquatic environments. Though this technique is decades old, little is known about vegetative spray retention relative to this application method. A more complete understanding of maximizing herbicide retention could lead to improved plant management while simultaneously decreasing pesticide load in aquatic environments. Therefore, outdoor mesocosm experiments were conducted in 2020 to evaluate the effect of adjuvant type on foliar spray retention in waterhyacinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms]. Additionally, the effect of carrier volume on spray retention in waterhyacinth, waterlettuce (Pistia stratiotes L.), and giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta D.S. Mitchell) was documented. Spray deposition did not differ among the nine adjuvants tested; however, spray retention was reduced 6% to 11% when an adjuvant was excluded from the spray solution. The effect of carrier volume on spray retention in waterhyacinth, waterlettuce, and giant salvinia was also investigated. Decreases in spray retention were most sensitive to increased carrier volume in waterhyacinth, followed by giant salvinia and waterlettuce. Among species, spray retention potential, as determined by intercept estimates, was greatest in water-lettuce and giant salvinia regardless of carrier volume. Asymptotes estimates for waterhyacinth, waterlettuce, and giant salvinia were 33%, 46%, and 79% spray retention, respectively. In other words, spray retention was the lowest and remained relatively constant at these values for the high carrier volumes tested (935 and 1,870 L ha−1), which were likely due to the presence of pubescence on leaves and flatter leaf architecture represented by waterlettuce and giant salvinia compared to the glabrous vertical leaves of waterhyacinth. Future research will evaluate these concepts under field condition.
  • Foundational Principles in the Development of AdH-SW3, the Three-Dimensional Shallow Water Hydrodynamics and Transport Module within the Adaptive Hydraulics/Hydrology Model

    Abstract: This report details the design and development of the three-dimensional shallow water hydrodynamics formulation within the Adaptive Hydraulics/Hydrology model (AdH-SW3) for simulation of flow and transport in rivers, estuaries, reservoirs, and other similar hydrologic environments. The report is intended to communicate principles of the model design for the interested and diligent user. The design relies upon several layers of consistency to produce a stable, accurate, and conservative model. The mesh design can handle rapid changes in bathymetry (e.g., steep-sided navigation channels in estuaries) and maintain accuracy in density-driven transport phenomena (e.g., thermal, or saline stratification and intrusion of salinity).
  • Evaluation of Multiparameter Water Meter for Environmental Toolkit for Expeditionary Operations

    Purpose: A new, commercially available, field-portable water sensor was evaluated for efficacy during operation and compatibility with current Environmental Toolkit for Expeditionary Operations (ETEO) software. The ETEO provides sensors to Soldiers to rapidly identify and quantify environmental contamination in soil, air, and water at potential new base sites during initial reconnaissance to ensure Soldier safety and minimize unnecessary remediation efforts by the Army. The primary objective of this study was to enhance ETEO performance by providing the capability to evaluate multiple water quality properties simultaneously.
  • A Review of Empirical Algorithms for the Detection and Quantification of Harmful Algal Blooms Using Satellite-Borne Remote Sensing

    Abstract: Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) continue to be a global concern, especially since predicting bloom events including the intensity, extent, and geographic location, remain difficult. However, remote sensing platforms are useful tools for monitoring HABs across space and time. The main objective of this review was to explore the scientific literature to develop a near-comprehensive list of spectrally derived empirical algorithms for satellite imagers commonly utilized for the detection and quantification HABs and water quality indicators. This review identified the 29 WorldView-2 MSI algorithms, 25 Sentinel-2 MSI algorithms, 32 Landsat-8 OLI algorithms, 9 MODIS algorithms, and 64 MERIS/Sentinel-3 OLCI algorithms. This review also revealed most empirical-based algorithms fell into one of the following general formulas: two-band difference algorithm (2BDA), three-band difference algorithm (3BDA), normalized-difference chlorophyll index (NDCI), or the cyanobacterial index (CI). New empirical algorithm development appears to be constrained, at least in part, due to the limited number of HAB-associated spectral features detectable in currently operational imagers. However, these algorithms provide a foundation for future algorithm development as new sensors, technologies, and platforms emerge.
  • Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Facility Data Exchange Pilot Expansion to BUILDER SMS

    Abstract: The Army has many enterprise Operation and Maintenance (O&M) systems that require manual input of the same facility data collected through-out the facility life cycle. This manual input of data costs Army installations valuable time and labor. A standardized approach to deliver the O&M information in a consistent, accurate, timely, and digital method for expedited input into the numerous systems is needed. A United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)-led team consisting of O&M subject matter experts within USACE and industry developed a standardized process for collecting and exchanging facility data for downstream applications. The process is defined in the Engineering and Construction Bulletin (ECB) 2018-6 and includes utilization of Unified Facilities Guide Specification (UFGS) 01 78 24.00 10. An initial pilot study verified that asset data collected during facility construction could effectively be imported into the Army General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS). This second pilot study focused on facilitating the import of facility asset and equipment data collected during construction into the BUILDER Sustainment Management System (SMS) web-based software application. The project scope included investigation of current Army installations’ processes as they relate to BUILDER SMS as well as initial testing of information transfer approaches.