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Category: Publications: Information Technology Laboratory (ITL)
  • Experimental Fatigue Evaluation of Underwater Steel Panels Retrofitted with Fiber Polymers

    Abstract: Many steel structures are susceptible to fatigue loading and damage that potentially threaten their integrity. Steel hydraulic structures (SHS) experience fatigue loading during operation and exposure to harsh environmental conditions that can further reduce fatigue life through stress corrosion cracking and corrosion fatigue, for example. Dewatering to complete inspections or repairs to SHS is time consuming and leads to economic losses, and current repair methods, such as rewelding, often cause new cracks to form after relatively few cycles, requiring repeated inspection and repair. The use of bonded carbon fiber–reinforced polymer (CFRP) to repair fatigue cracks in metallic structures has been successful in other industries; recent work suggests that this method offers a more reliable repair method for SHS. Studies regarding CFRP retrofits of SHS indicate that early bond failure often controls the degree of fatigue life extension provided by the repair. This study aims to extend previous studies and increase the fatigue life of repaired steel components by employing methods to improve CFRP bonding. Additionally, using basalt reinforced polymer (BFRP) instead of CFRP is proposed. BFRP is attractive for SHS because it does not react galvanically and has excellent resistance to chemically active environments.
  • An Ontology for an Epigenetics Approach to Prognostics and Health Management

    Abstract: Techniques in prognostics and health management have advanced considerably in the last few decades, enabled by breakthroughs in computational methods and supporting technologies. These predictive models, whether data-driven or physics-based, target the modeling of a system’s aggregate performance. As such, they generalize assumptions about the modelled system’s components, and are thus limited in their ability to represent individual components and the dynamic environmental factors that affect composite system health. To address this deficiency, we have developed an epigenetics-inspired knowledge representation for engineered system state that encompasses components and environmental factors. Epigenetics is concerned with explaining how environmental factors affect the expression of an organism’s genetic material. The field has derived important insights into the development and progression of disease states based on how environmental factors impact genetic material, causing variations in how a gene is expressed. The health of an engineered system is similarly influenced by its environment. A foundation for a new approach to prognostics based on epigenetics must begin by representing the entities and relationships of an engineered system from the perspective of epigenetics. This paper presents an ontology for an epigenetics-inspired representation of an engineered system. An ontology describing the epigenetics of an engineered system will enable the composition of a formal model and the incremental development of a more robust, causal reasoning system.
  • 2021 Guided Wave Inspection of California Department of Water Resources Tainter Gate Post-Tensioned Trunnion Anchor Rods: Oroville Dam

    Abstract: The Engineering and Test Branch within the Division of Operations and Maintenance of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Sacramento District, tasked the Sensor Integration Branch (SIB) at the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) to perform nondestructive testing (NDT) on the trunnion anchor rods at Oroville Dam through the use of ultrasonic guided waves. This is the fourth year of this NDT. The results of the testing are presented along with qualitative analysis in determining whether a rod is intact or compromised. Analysis is based upon the expected results from other rods at the site, knowledge of rod response at other sites, data gathered from the trunnion rod research test bed at ERDC, and comparison to the previous year’s effort.
  • Helicopter Rotor Blade Planform Optimization Using Parametric Design and Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm

    Abstract: In this paper, an automated framework is presented to perform helicopter rotor blade planform optimization. This framework contains three elements, Dakota, ParBlade, and RCAS. These elements are integrated into an environment control tool, Galaxy Simulation Builder, which is used to carry out the optimization. The main objective of this work is to conduct rotor performance design optimizations for forward flight and hover. The blade design variables manipulated by ParBlade are twist, sweep, and anhedral. The multi-objective genetic algorithm method is used in this study to search for the optimum blade design; the optimization objective is to minimize the rotor power required. Following design parameter substitution, ParBlade generates the modified blade shape and updates the rotor blade properties in the RCAS script before running RCAS. After the RCAS simulations are complete, the desired performance metrics (objectives and constraints) are extracted and returned to the Dakota optimizer. Demonstrative optimization case studies were conducted using a UH-60A main rotor as the base case. Rotor power in hover and forward flight, at advance ratio 𝜇𝜇 = 0.3, are used as objective functions. The results of this study show improvement in rotor power of 6.13% and 8.52% in hover and an advance ratio of 0.3, respectively. This configuration also yields greater reductions in rotor power for high advance ratios, e.g., 12.42% reduction at 𝜇𝜇 = 0.4.
  • Publications of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center; Appendix G: FY22 (October 2021-September 2022)

    Abstract: Publications issued October 2021 through September 2022 by the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) are listed. The publications are grouped according to the technical laboratories or technical program for which they were prepared. Procedures for obtaining ERDC reports are included in the Preface.
  • In Situ and Time

    Abstract: Large-scale HPC simulations with their inherent I/O bottleneck have made in situ visualization an essential approach for data analysis, although the idea of in situ visualization dates back to the era of coprocessing in the 1990s. In situ coupling of analysis and visualization to a live simulation circumvents writing raw data to disk for post-mortem analysis -- an approach that is already inefficient for today's very large simulation codes. Instead, with in situ visualization, data abstracts are generated that provide a much higher level of expressiveness per byte. Therefore, more details can be computed and stored for later analysis, providing more insight than traditional methods. This workshop encouraged talks on methods and workflows that have been used for large-scale parallel visualization, with a particular focus on the in situ case.
  • Risk-Based Prioritization of Operational Condition Assessments: Methodology and Case Study Results

    Abstract: USACE operates, maintains, and manages more than $232 billion of the Nation’s water resource infrastructure. USACE uses the Operational Condition Assessment (OCA) to allocate limited resources to assess condition of this infrastructure in efforts to minimize risks associated with performance degradation. The analysis of risk associated with flood risk management (FRM) assets includes consideration of how each asset contributes to its associated FRM watershed system, understanding the consequences of the asset’s performance degradation, and a determination of the likelihood that the asset will perform as expected given the current OCA condition ratings of critical components. This research demonstrates a proof-of-concept application of a scalable methodology to model the probability of a dam performing as expected given the state of its gates and their components. The team combines this likelihood of degradation with consequences generated by the application of designed simulation experiments with hydrological models to develop a risk measure. The resulting risk scores serve as an input for a mixed-integer optimization program that outputs the optimal set of components to conduct OCAs on to minimize risk in the watershed. This report documents the results of the application of this methodology to two case studies.
  • The Impact of Practitioners’ Personality Traits on Their Level of Systems-Thinking Skills Preferences

    Abstract: In this study, we used a structural equation modeling method to investigate the relationship between systems engineers and engineering managers’ Systems-Thinking (ST) skills preferences and their Personality Traits (PTs) in the domain of complex system problems. As organizations operate in more and more turbulent and complex environments, it has become increasingly important to assess the ST skills preferences and PTs of engineers. The current literature lacks studies related to the impact of systems engineers and engineering managers’ PTs on their ST skills preferences, and this study aims to address this gap. A total of 99 engineering managers and 104 systems engineers provided the data to test four hypotheses posed in this study. The results show that the PTs of systems engineers and engineering managers have a positive impact on their level of ST skills preferences and that the education level, the current occupation type, and the managerial experience of the systems engineers and engineering managers moderate the main relationship in the study.
  • A Fuzzy Epigenetic Model for Representing Degradation in Engineered Systems

    Abstract: Degradation processes are implicated in a large number of system failures, and are crucial to understanding issues related to reliability and safety. Systems typically degrade in response to stressors, such as physical or chemical environmental conditions, which can vary widely for identical units that are deployed in different places or for different uses. This situational variance makes it difficult to develop accurate physics-based or data-driven models to assess and predict the system health status of individual components. To address this issue, we propose a fuzzy set model for representing degradation in engineered systems that is based on a bioinspired concept from the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics is concerned with the regulation of gene expression resulting from environmental or other factors, such as toxicants or diet. One of the most studied epigenetic processes is methylation, which involves the attachment of methyl groups to genomic regulatory regions. Methylation of specific genes has been implicated in numerous chronic diseases, so provides an excellent analog to system degradation. We present a fuzzy set model for characterizing system degradation as a methylation process based on a set-theoretic representation for epigenetic modeling of engineered systems. This model allows us to capture the individual dynamic relationships among a system, environmental factors, and state of health .
  • Ship Simulator of the Future in Virtual Reality

    Introduction: The Army’s modernization priorities include the development of augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) simulations for enabling the regiment and increasing soldier readiness. The use of AR/VR technology at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is also growing in the realm of military and civil works program missions. The ERDC Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) has developed a ship simulator to evaluate bay channels across the world; however, the current simulator has little to no physical realism in nearshore coastal regions (Figure 1). Thus, the ERDC team is researching opportunities to advance ship simulation to deliver the Ship Simulator of the Future (SSoF). The SSoF will be equipped with a VR mode and will more accurately resolve nearshore wave phenomena by ingesting precalculated output from a Boussinesq-type wave model. This initial prototype of the SSoF application is intended for research and development purposes; however, the technologies employed will be applicable to other disciplines and project scopes, including the Synthetic Training Environment (STE) and ship and coastal structure design in future versions.