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Category: Technology
  • Effects of Impure Water Sources on Early-Age Properties of Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cements for Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery

    Abstract: In austere environments with limited access to clean water, it is advantageous to use nonpotable water for construction (i.e., mixing water for concrete.) In rapid-response situations such as rapid airfield damage recovery (RADR), the use of calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) cements is beneficial for expedient pavement repairs because of their rapid strength gain characteristics. However, the hydration products formed by CSA cements are substantially different from those formed by ordinary portland cement and might react differently to impurities that water sources may contain. A laboratory study component investigated the application of various salts and impure sources of mixing water with commercially available CSA cement-based products. A field component studied the application of naturally occurring impure water sources for RADR. Recommendations are made for implementation of impure mixing water for RADR using commercially available flowable fill and concrete products made with CSA cement.
  • A Tutorial on the Rapid Distortion Theory Model for Unidirectional, Plane Shearing of Homogeneous Turbulence

    Abstract: The theory of near-surface atmospheric wind noise is largely predicated on assuming turbulence is homogeneous and isotropic. For high turbulent wavenumbers, this is a fairly reasonable approximation, though it can introduce non-negligible errors in shear flows. Recent near-surface measurements of atmospheric turbulence suggest that anisotropic turbulence can be adequately modeled by rapid-distortion theory (RDT), which can serve as a natural extension of wind noise theory. Here, a solution for the RDT equations of unidirectional plane shearing of homogeneous turbulence is reproduced. It is assumed that the time-varying velocity spectral tensor can be made stationary by substituting an eddy-lifetime parameter in place of time. General and particular RDT evolution equations for stochastic increments are derived in detail. Analytical solutions for the RDT evolution equation, with and without an effective eddy viscosity, are given. An alternative expression for the eddy-lifetime parameter is shown. The turbulence kinetic energy budget is examined for RDT. Predictions by RDT are shown for velocity (co)variances, one-dimensional streamwise spectra, length scales, and the second invariant of the anisotropy tensor of the moments of velocity. The RDT prediction of the second invariant for the velocity anisotropy tensor is shown to agree better with direct numerical simulations than previously reported.
  • Boronic Acid Functionalized Ferrocene Derivatives Towards Fluoride Sensing

    Abstract: In this technical report (TR), a robust, readily synthesized molecule with a ferrocene core appended with one or two boronic acid moieties was designed, synthesized, and used toward F- (free fluoride) detection. Through Lewis acid-base interactions, the boronic acid derivatives are capable of binding with F- in an aqueous solution via ligand exchange reaction and is specific to fluoride ion. Fluoride binding to ferrocene causes significant changes in fluorescence or electrochemical responses that can be monitored with field-portable instrumentation at concentrations below the WHO recommended limit. The F- binding interaction was further monitored via proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-NMR). In addition, fluorescent spectroscopy of the boronic acid moiety and electrochemical monitoring of the ferrocene moiety will allow detection and estimation of F- concentration precisely in a solution matrix. The current work shows lower detection limit (LOD) of ~15 µM (285 μg/L) which is below the WHO standards. Preliminary computational calculations showed the boronic acid moieties attached to the ferrocene core interacted with the fluoride ion. Also, the ionization diagrams indicate the amides and the boronic acid groups can be ionized forming strong ionic interactions with fluoride ions in addition to hydrogen bonding interactions.
  • USACE Navigation Sediment Placement: An RSM Program Database (1998 – 2019)

    Abstract: This US Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Sediment Management, technical note describes a geodatabase of federal coastal and inland navigation projects developed to determine the extent to which RSM goals have been implemented across the USACE at the project and district levels. The effort 1) quantified the volume of sediment dredged from federal navigation channels by both contract and USACE-owned dredges and 2) identified the placement type and whether sediment was placed beneficially. The majority of the dredging data used to populate the geodatabase were based on the USACE Dredging Information System DIS database, but when available, the geodatabase was expanded to include more detailed USACE district-specific data that were not included in the DIS database. Two datasets were developed in this study: the National Dataset and the District-Specific and Quality-Checked Dataset. The National Dataset is based on statistics extracted from the combined DIS Contract and Government Plant data. This database is a largely unedited database that combined two available USACE datasets. Due to varying degrees of data completeness in these two datasets, this study undertook a data refinement process to improve the information. This was done through interviews with the districts, literature search, and the inclusion of additional district-specific data provided by individual districts that often represent more detailed information on dredging activities. The District-Specific and Quality-Checked Database represents a customized database generated by this study. An interactive web-based tool was developed that accesses both datasets and displays them on a national map that can be viewed at the district or project scale
  • National Sediment Placement Data Viewer Users Guide

    Purpose: This US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Regional Sediment Management (RSM) technical note serves as a user’s guide for the RSM National Sediment Placement Data Viewer. This application was created utilizing over 20 yr* of detailed and verified USACE dredging data, giving users an interactive web-based tool that takes these datasets and displays them on a national map, viewable at the district or project scale. The Data Viewer will quantify the total cubic yards dredged, disposed, and/or beneficially used based on the user selected parameters. Detailed information on the datasets utilized and the verification processes followed to create this application can be found in ERDC/TN RSM-22-4, USACE Navigation Sediment Placement: An RSM Program Database (1998 – 2019) (Elko et al. 2022). This technical note attempts to define each of the inputs/outputs given from the Data Viewer and then provide a step-by-step example of utilizing the Data Viewer, accessed here:
  • Techniques for Developing Bars and Islands in Incising Channels

    Abstract: Sandbars and islands provide important nesting and foraging habitat for birds (including listed species) and shallow water habitat for many aquatic species in riverine ecosystems. In-stream habitat is especially important in incised channels lacking floodplain connectivity, with channel bars providing important riparian habitat. However, some river management practices significantly alter and sometime eventually eliminate these important habitats. Several US Army Corps of Engineers districts are planning or actively building instream bars and islands using flow management and/or instream structures. Sister agencies (e.g., US Bureau of Reclamation) have similar initiatives downstream of their reservoir structures. This report outlines considerations for establishing and managing sandbar and island features. It presents a compilation of proven techniques for promoting sandbar and island development and for reducing erosion of these features.
  • Validation of the Automatic Dynamic Cone Penetrometer

    Abstract: The U.S. military requires a rapid means of measuring subsurface soil strength for construction and repair of expeditionary pavement surfaces. Traditionally, a dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP) has served this purpose, providing strength with depth profiles in natural and prepared pavement surfaces. To improve upon this device, the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) validated a new battery-powered automatic dynamic cone penetrometer (A-DCP) apparatus that automates the driving process by using a motor-driven hammering cap placed on top of a traditional DCP rod. The device improves upon a traditional DCP by applying three to four blows per second while digitally recording depth, blow count, and California Bearing Ratio (CBR). An integrated Global Positioning Sensor (GPS) and Bluetooth® connection allow for real-time data capture and stationing. Similarities were illustrated between the DCP and the A-DCP by generation of a new A-DCP calibration curve. This curve relates penetration rate to field CBR that nearly follows the DCP calibration with the exception of a slight offset. Field testing of the A-DCP showed less variability and more consistent strength measurement with depth at a speed five times greater than that of the DCP with minimal physical exertion by the operator.
  • 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.