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  • Suppressing the pressure-source instability in modeling deep-draft vessels with low under-keel clearance in FUNWAVE-TVD

    Abstract: This Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering Technical Note (CHETN) documents the development through verification and validation of three instability-suppressing mechanisms in FUNWAVE-TVD, a Boussinesq-type numerical wave model, when modeling deep-draft vessels with a low under-keel clearance (UKC). Many large commercial ports and channels (e.g., Houston Ship Channel, Galveston, US Army Corps of Engineers [USACE]) are traveled and affected by tens of thousands of commercial vessel passages per year. In a series of recent projects undertaken for the Galveston District (USACE), it was discovered that when deep-draft vessels are modeled using pressure-source mechanisms, they can suffer from model instabilities when low UKC is employed (e.g., vessel draft of 12 m¹ in a channel of 15 m or less of depth), rendering a simulation unstable and obsolete. As an increasingly large number of deep-draft vessels are put into service, this problem is becoming more severe. This presents an operational challenge when modeling large container-type vessels in busy shipping channels, as these often will come as close as 1 m to the bottom of the channel, or even touch the bottom. This behavior would subsequently exhibit a numerical discontinuity in a given model and could severely limit the sample size of modeled vessels. This CHETN outlines a robust approach to suppressing such instability without compromising the integrity of the far-field vessel wave/wake solution. The three methods developed in this study aim to suppress high-frequency spikes generated nearfield of a vessel. They are a shock-capturing method, a friction method, and a viscosity method, respectively. The tests show that the combined shock-capturing and friction method is the most effective method to suppress the local high-frequency noises, while not affecting the far-field solution. A strong test, in which the target draft is larger than the channel depth, shows that there are no high-frequency noises generated in the case of ship squat as long as the shock-capturing method is used.
  • A Computational Prototyping Environment Interface for DoD CREATETM-AV Helios Simulations

    Abstract: Computational Prototyping Environment (CPE) is a web-based portal designed to simplify running Department of Defense (DoD) modeling and simulation tools on the DoD Supercomputing Resource Center’s (DSRC) High Performance Computing (HPC) systems. The first of these tools to be deployed in the CPE is an application (app) to conduct parametric studies and view results using the CREATE-AV Helios CFD software. Initial capability includes hover (collective sweep) and forward flight (speed sweep) performance calculations. The CPE Helios app allows for job submission to a DSRC’s HPC system and for the viewing of results created by Helios, i.e., time series and volumetric data. Example data input and results viewing are presented. Planned future functionality is also outlined.
  • State of the Practice in Pavement Structural Design/Analysis Codes Relevant to Airfield Pavement Design

    Abstract: An airfield pavement structure is designed to support aircraft live loads for a specified pavement design life. Computer codes are available to assist the engineer in designing an airfield pavement structure. Pavement structural design is generally a function of five criteria: the pavement structural configuration, materials, the applied loading, ambient conditions, and how pavement failure is defined. The two typical types of pavement structures, rigid and flexible, provide load support in fundamentally different ways and develop different stress distributions at the pavement – base interface. Airfield pavement structural design is unique due to the large concentrated dynamic loads that a pavement structure endures to support aircraft movements. Aircraft live loads that accompany aircraft movements are characterized in terms of the load magnitude, load area (tire-pavement contact surface), aircraft speed, movement frequency, landing gear configuration, and wheel coverage. The typical methods used for pavement structural design can be categorized into three approaches: empirical methods, analytical (closed-form) solutions, and numerical (finite element analysis) approaches. This article examines computational approaches used for airfield pavement structural design to summarize the state-of-the-practice and to identify opportunities for future advancements. United States and non-U.S. airfield pavement structural codes are reviewed in this article considering their computational methodology and intrinsic qualities.
  • Automated Characterization of Ridge-Swale Patterns Along the Mississippi River

    Abstract: The orientation of constructed levee embankments relative to alluvial swales is a useful measure for identifying regions susceptible to backward erosion piping (BEP). This research was conducted to create an automated, efficient process to classify patterns and orientations of swales within the Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV) to support levee risk assessments. Two machine learning algorithms are used to train the classification models: a convolutional neural network and a U-net. The resulting workflow can identify linear topographic features but is unable to reliably differentiate swales from other features, such as the levee structure and riverbanks. Further tuning of training data or manual identification of regions of interest could yield significantly better results. The workflow also provides an orientation to each linear feature to support subsequent analyses of position relative to levee alignments. While the individual models fall short of immediate applicability, the procedure provides a feasible, automated scheme to assist in swale classification and characterization within mature alluvial valley systems similar to LMV.
  • Methodology for Remote Assessment of Pavement Distresses from Point Cloud Analysis

    Abstract: The ability to remotely assess road and airfield pavement condition is critical to dynamic basing, contingency deployment, convoy entry and sustainment, and post-attack reconnaissance. Current Army processes to evaluate surface condition are time-consuming and require Soldier presence. Recent developments in the area of photogrammetry and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) enable rapid generation of three-dimensional point cloud models of the pavement surface. Point clouds were generated from data collected on a series of asphalt, concrete, and unsurfaced pavements using ground- and aerial-based sensors. ERDC-developed algorithms automatically discretize the pavement surface into cross- and grid-based sections to identify physical surface distresses such as depressions, ruts, and cracks. Depressions can be sized from the point-to-point distances bounding each depression, and surface roughness is determined based on the point heights along a given cross section. Noted distresses are exported to a distress map file containing only the distress points and their locations for later visualization and quality control along with classification and quantification. Further research and automation into point cloud analysis is ongoing with the goal of enabling Soldiers with limited training the capability to rapidly assess pavement surface condition from a remote platform.
  • State of the practice in pavement structural design/analysis codes relevant to airfield pavement design

    Abstract: An airfield pavement structure is designed to support aircraft live loads for a specified pavement design life. Computer codes are available to assist the engineer in designing an airfield pavement structure. Pavement structural design is generally a function of five criteria: the pavement structural configuration, materials, the applied loading, ambient conditions, and how pavement failure is defined. The two typical types of pavement structures, rigid and flexible, provide load support in fundamentally different ways and develop different stress distributions at the pavement – base interface. Airfield pavement structural design is unique due to the large concentrated dynamic loads that a pavement structure endures to support aircraft movements. Aircraft live loads that accompany aircraft movements are characterized in terms of the load magnitude, load area (tire-pavement contact surface), aircraft speed, movement frequency, landing gear configuration, and wheel coverage. The typical methods used for pavement structural design can be categorized into three approaches: empirical methods, analytical (closed-form) solutions, and numerical (finite element analysis) approaches. This article examines computational approaches used for airfield pavement structural design to summarize the state-of-the-practice and to identify opportunities for future advancements. United States and non-U.S. airfield pavement structural codes are reviewed in this article considering their computational methodology and intrinsic qualities.
  • Hydraulic dike effects investigation on the Mississippi River: Natchez to Baton Rouge

    Abstract: This report documents an investigation of the hydraulic effects of dikes on water levels in the Mississippi River between Natchez, MS, and Baton Rouge, LA, conducted for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mississippi Valley Division, Vicksburg, MS. The investigation was conducted using a previously calibrated Natchez-to-Baton Rouge Adaptive Hydraulics numerical model. The objectives were to alter roughness and height variables associated with the dikes and overbanks encompassed in the numerical model and evaluate their effects on water surface elevations. This academic exercise provides an indication of the relative level of impact associated with modifications to the dikes and overbanks for this portion of the Mississippi River and does not represent future plans or recommendations by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Steady flow simulations were simulated for 12 May 2011 to investigate the variation in model results during the peak of the 2011 flood on the Mississippi River.
  • A Historical Perspective on Development of Systems Engineering Discipline: A Review and Analysis

    Abstract: Since its inception, Systems Engineering (SE) has developed as a distinctive discipline, and there has been significant progress in this field in the past two decades. Compared to other engineering disciplines, SE is not affirmed by a set of underlying fundamental propositions, instead it has emerged as a set of best practices to deal with intricacies stemming from the stochastic nature of engineering complex systems and addressing their problems. Since the existing methodologies and paradigms (dominant patterns of thought and concepts) of SE are very diverse and somewhat fragmented. This appears to create some confusion regarding the design, deployment, operation, and application of SE. The purpose of this paper is (1) to delineate the development of SE from 1926-2017 based on insights derived from a histogram analysis, (2) to discuss the different paradigms and school of thoughts related to SE, (3) to derive a set of fundamental attributes of SE using advanced coding techniques and analysis, and (4) to present a newly developed instrument that could assess the performance of systems engineers. More than Two hundred and fifty different sources have been reviewed in this research in order to demonstrate the development trajectory of the SE discipline based on the frequency of publications.
  • Automated Terrain Classification for Vehicle Mobility in Off-Road Conditions

    ABSTRACT:  The U.S. Army is increasingly interested in autonomous vehicle operations, including off-road autonomous ground maneuver. Unlike on-road, off-road terrain can vary drastically, especially with the effects of seasonality. As such, vehicles operating in off-road environments need to be informed about the changing terrain prior to departure or en route for successful maneuver to the mission end point. The purpose of this report is to assess machine learning algorithms used on various remotely sensed datasets to see which combinations are useful for identifying different terrain. The study collected data from several types of winter conditions by using both active and passive, satellite and vehicle-based sensor platforms and both supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms. To classify specific terrain types, supervised algorithms must be used in tandem with large training datasets, which are time consuming to create. However, unsupervised segmentation algorithms can be used to help label the training data. More work is required gathering training data to include a wider variety of terrain types. While classification is a good first step, more detailed information about the terrain properties will be needed for off-road autonomy.
  • Data Lake Ecosystem Workflow

    Abstract: The Engineer Research and Development Center, Information Technology Laboratory’s (ERDC-ITL’s) Big Data Analytics team specializes in the analysis of large-scale datasets with capabilities across four research areas that require vast amounts of data to inform and drive analysis: large-scale data governance, deep learning and machine learning, natural language processing, and automated data labeling. Unfortunately, data transfer be-tween government organizations is a complex and time-consuming process requiring coordination of multiple parties across multiple offices and organizations. Past successes in large-scale data analytics have placed a significant demand on ERDC-ITL researchers, highlighting that few individuals fully understand how to successfully transfer data between government organizations; future project success therefore depends on a small group of individuals to efficiently execute a complicated process. The Big Data Analytics team set out to develop a standardized workflow for the transfer of large-scale datasets to ERDC-ITL, in part to educate peers and future collaborators on the process required to transfer datasets between government organizations. Researchers also aim to increase workflow efficiency while protecting data integrity. This report provides an overview of the created Data Lake Ecosystem Workflow by focusing on the six phases required to efficiently transfer large datasets to supercomputing resources located at ERDC-ITL.