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Category: Technology
  • A Method for Evaluating Automatic Identification System (AIS) Coverage on Select Inland Waterways in 2020 and 2021: Upper Mississippi River, Illinois River, and Ohio River

    Abstract: The Automatic Identification System (AIS) shares vessel position information for navigational safety purposes. AIS broadcasts are received by other ships and terrestrial stations; however, in some areas there is no, or low, terrestrial station coverage to receive broadcasts. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) developed an Online Travel Time Atlas (OTTA) to process AIS data and derive a transit count. This study examined OTTA output from 2020 and 2021 to identify areas of high or low AIS coverage along the Upper Mississippi, Illinois, and Ohio Rivers. Segments with a yearly average of two or more transit per day were classified as high coverage, those with less than a yearly average of two transits per day were classified as low coverage. Rivers were segmented using the USACE National Channel Framework reach boundaries. Results based on calculated vessel transits were as follows: Upper Mississippi River: 837.4 miles (98%) had high coverage, with 17.4 miles (2%) of low coverage; Illinois River: 190.5 miles (59%) had high AIS coverage, and 133 miles (41%) had low AIS coverage; Ohio River: 644 miles (66%) had high coverage, and 337 miles (34%) had low coverage. AIS coverage could be improved by raising antennae heights, installing repeater equipment, or adding towers.
  • The Importance of Environmental Product Declarations in the Decarbonization Effort

    Abstract: An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a disclosure document that communicates how a product or material affects the environment throughout its life cycle. EPDs are used across many industries and government organizations as an accurate source of information when making procurement decisions to minimize environmental impacts. Developed by businesses and certified by third-party organizations, EPDs are created to communicate the environmental impacts of specified life-cycle stages of a product. As such, EPDs can be an important tool for organizations working toward carbon reduction goals, such as the Army’s decarbonization goals of Executive Order (EO) 14,057 and the Army Climate Strategy. This document summarizes the current state of EPDs, including how they are created, how they can be used to help analyze the environmental impacts of construction materials, and how they are being used by government entities. Also discussed are other decarbonization tools and methods to integrate EPDs, providing a more wholistic approach to the construction industry’s activities and impacts. The document concludes with a discussion of the challenges and the future of EPDs.
  • Analysis of the Army Transition from LEED 2009 to LEED v4, with Updated LEED 4.1 Credits

    Abstract: The objective of this effort was to identify and recommend an approach for Army green building certification that ensures Army projects meet federal and Army sustainability requirements during the transition from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2009 to LEED v4. The first Army LEED v4 project was registered for certification with the Green Building Certification Institute in 2014. Since then, over 860 Army projects were registered for LEED v4 certification. As of the third quarter of FY20, when this report was written, 2 projects achieved LEED Silver certification. Other Army projects teams documented difficulty achieving the required LEED v4 Silver certification due to difficult site conditions, budget constraints, facility types, or project requirements. Commercial-sector project teams also had difficulty certifying with LEED v4, forcing the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to reconsider the credits and metrics project teams found challenging. The USGBC revised the troublesome credits and now offers LEED v4.1 pilot credits that can be used for any project registered with LEED v4. To assist Army project teams, this research investigates difficult-to-achieve LEED v4 cred-its and their possible replacement with LEED v4.1 pilot credits. The report concludes with guidance on implementing the updated version of the LEED rating system from v4 to v4.1.
  • Establishing a Series of Dust Event Case Studies for East Asia

    Abstract: Dust aerosols have a wide range of effects on air quality, health, land-management decisions, aircraft operations, and sensor data interpretations. Therefore, the accurate simulation of dust plume initiation and transport is a priority for operational weather centers. Recent advancements have improved the performance of dust prediction models, but substantial capability gaps remain when forecasting the specific location and timing of individual dust events, especially extreme dust outbreaks. Operational weather forecasters and US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) researchers established a series of reference case study events to enhance dust transport model evaluation. These reference case studies support research to improve modeled dust simulations, including efforts to increase simulation accuracy on when and where dust is lofted off the ground, dust aerosols transport, and dust-induced adverse air quality issues create hazardous conditions downstream. Here, we provide detailed assessments of four dust events for Central and East Asia. We describe the dust-event lifecycle from onset to end (or when dust transports beyond the area of interest) and the synoptic and mesoscale environ-mental conditions governing the process. Analyses of hourly reanalysis data, spaceborne lidar and aerosol optical depth retrievals, upper-air soundings, true-color satellite imagery, and dust-enhanced false-color imagery supplement the discussions.
  • Energy Atlas—Mapping Energy-Related Data for DoD Lands: Phase 3—Data and Portal Expansion: Northeast CONUS

    Abstract: The DoD is a significant land user in northeast United States overseeing approximately 375 k acres of land with a total value of $113 B. The Department of Energy has found that major impacts from climate change will threaten energy infrastructure in the northeast US moving into the future. Current spatial information related to the energy resources and infrastructure on and adjacent to DoD installations can play a vital role in decision-making for sustainable and resilient installation planning in the region. The Energy Atlas (EA) portal provides a secure value-added resource to inform the decision-making process for current and future investment in installation infrastructure, energy management, and improvements to energy resiliency and sustainability. The EA aggregates spatial data for energy, infrastructure, and related environmental resources and facilitates access to that information through a secure online portal. The EA is hosted on a Common Access Card–authenticated portal accessible to DoD decision-makers and their partners through the Intelligence Community Geographic Information System (GIS) portal. The expansion of data coverage within the EA portal helps the DoD account for energy in contingency planning, acquisition, and lifecycle requirements in the northeast US and ensures facilities can maintain operations in the face of disruption.
  • Marine Bioinvasion Risk: Review of Current Ecological Models

    Abstract: This special report describes the first phase of developing an ecological model to inform marine bioinvasion risks in the United States. The project responds to the needs of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Program, or ANSRP, which addresses all problematic invasive aquatic species affecting the nation’s waterways, infrastructure, and associated resources, and the needs of the USACE navigation and dredging programs. Multiple port-deepening studies are either in progress or under consideration, and all must address ecological risk. Understanding whether and how increased dredging contributes to in-creased marine bioinvasion risk allows risk mitigation during early planning phases. Considering the potential impacts of future environmental change, such as changing sea level, ocean temperature, and ocean chemistry, will further strengthen planning for marine bioinvasion risk. There-fore, this special report documents current ecological modeling approaches to marine bioinvasion risk models and identifies models that in-corporate shipping as a vector. The special report then presents a conceptual model and identifies historic vessel position data from the Automatic Identification System, or AIS, now available for most commercial and some recreational vessels around the United States, as a key source for future model development and testing.
  • Proceedings from the Basin Sediment Management for Unique Island Topography Workshop, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico

    Abstract: This report summarizes the Basin Sediment Management for Unique Island Topography Workshop hosted in-person and virtually at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM) Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico on 11 March 2022. The workshop was attended by approximately 80 federal, state, local, and academic organizations participants. It focused on Engineering With Nature® (EWN®), green infrastructure (GI) and low impact development (LID) opportunities for unique tropical island topography and included seven presentations from subject matter experts, a discussion on limitations and problems with prior projects, and two concurrent breakout sessions. Preworkshop activities included a field trip to multiple sites in the Añasco watershed conducted 09 March 2022, which served as a base case for the workshop. The field trip provided participants a unique perspective of the island’s topography and post 2017 Hurricane María issues and impacts. During the breakout sessions, participants identified new project opportunities for EWN®-GI and LID at two selected sites from the field trip. Each group developed alternatives for their chosen site and identified concepts that could turn into great opportunities for the surrounding communities and significantly benefit the state of practice in Puerto Rico’s unique tropical island topography.
  • Stage Frequency Analysis from Snowmelt Runoff near Utqiaġvik, Alaska

    Abstract: For the village of Utqiaġvik, located at the North Slope of Alaska, a stone-armored revetment along the coastline is proposed to reduce coastal erosion. The inner drainage capacity of the revetment must be sufficient to handle seasonal runoff from snowmelt. For this effort, we investigated the snowmelt runoff and the hydraulic impact at the watershed outlet using numerical snow and hydraulic modeling of the study area. We validated the snow model results by comparing simulated snow water equivalent (SWE) values to field measurements. Additionally, the snow model was validated using satellite-based Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow-covered area (SCA) products and time-lapse camera imagery during snowmelt. Our results indicate that the simulated SWE and snowmelt dates agree closely with measured values. The timing of modeled runoff onset was less accurate due to natural processes that delay snowmelt runoff such as snow dams and refreeze. The effect of the uncertainty from both runoff timing and volume was addressed with a Monte Carlo simulation of stage-frequency curves for the lagoons that receive snowmelt runoff. These stage-frequency curves can be used directly in the design of outlet, drainage or discharge structures for the proposed revetment.
  • Initial Data Collection from a Fiber-Optic-Based Dam Seepage Monitoring and Detection System

    Abstract: Visual inspection is the most used method to detect seepage at dams. Early detection can be difficult with this method, and use of appropriate real time monitoring could significantly increase the chances of recognizing possible failure. Seepages can be identified by analyzing changes in water and soil temperature. Optical fiber placed at the embankment’s downstream toe has been proven to be an efficient means of detecting real time changes at short intervals over several kilometers. This study aims to demonstrate how temperatures measured using fiber optic distributed sensing can be used to monitor seepage at Moose Creek Dam, North Pole, Alaska. The fiber optic cable portion of the monitoring system is installed along a section of the embankment where sand boils have occurred. Though no flood event occurred during this monitoring period, routine pumping tests of nearby relief wells resulted in an increase of soil and water temperature (up to 13°C) along a 100 m section where sand boils were detected during the 2014 flood events. Measurements during a flood event are expected to provide a quantitative assessment of seepage and its rate.
  • Considering Sediment Beneficial Use Options at Lake Michigan Harbors in Wisconsin

    Abstract: In 2020 the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) reassigned 14 federally maintained harbors in the Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan to USACE–Chicago District. The administrative change presents opportunities for in-creased beneficial use of sediment at harbors that have not traditionally placed sediment beneficially. This paper summarizes a screening-level analysis of 12 harbors to determine which harbors are likely to have sediment appropriate for beneficial use in the future, either in water or upland. The harbors were qualitatively ranked according to the potential for future successful beneficial use of navigationally dredged sediment. Using this screening, data needs were defined and next steps to aid the development of a regional dredged-material management plan were identified.