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Tag: Runways (Aeronautics)--Maintenance and repair
  • Extreme Cold Weather Airfield Damage Repair Testing at Goose Bay Air Base, Canada

    Abstract: Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery (RADR) technologies have proven successful in temperate and subfreezing temperatures but have not been evaluated in extreme cold weather temperatures near 0°F. To address this capability gap, laboratory-scale and full-scale testing was conducted at these temperatures. Methods developed for moderate climates were adapted and demonstrated alongside methods that used snow harvested on-site as compacted backfill. After only a few days of training, seven experimental repairs were conducted by Canadian airmen at Goose Bay Air Base in Labrador, Canada, and load tested with a single-wheel C-17 load cart. Existing RADR technologies performed adequately despite the freezing temperatures, with the main tactic, techniques, and procedures modification being an increased cure time for the rapid-setting concrete surface material. Compacted snow-water slurry methods also performed well, demonstrating their ability to withstand over 500 passes of single-wheel C-17 traffic after sufficient freezing time.
  • Evaluation of a Prototype Integrated Pavement Screed for Screeding Asphalt or Concrete Crater Repairs

    Abstract: Finishing, or screeding, the hot mix asphalt or rapid-setting concrete surface of a crater repair is important for rapid airfield damage recovery (RADR) since it determines the aircraft ride surface quality. The objective of RADR repairs is to expediently produce a flush repair, defined as ±0.75 in. of the surrounding pavement surface, with minimal logistical and personnel burden. Multiple screeds were previously evaluated; the most recent project proposed a prototype design of a telehandler-operated integrated screed for both small and large repairs using asphalt or concrete. This project’s objective was to finalize the prototype design and fabricate and test the prototype RADR screed. The prototype RADR screed was successful for small repairs (8.5×8.5 ft). Large repairs (30×30 ft) were generally successful with modest repair quality criteria (RQC) issues being the only notable deficiencies. Large concrete repair RQC issues were attributed to plastic formwork movement, and large asphalt repair RQC issues were attributed to compaction issues or improper roll-down factors. Methods to mitigate these factors were investigated but should be further evaluated. Overall, the RADR screed was successful from technical perspectives but, functionally, is 600-800 lb overweight. Weight reduction should be considered before entering production.
  • 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.
  • Evaluation of Geocell-Reinforced Backfill for Airfield Pavement Repair

    Abstract: After an airfield has been attacked, temporary airfield pavement repairs should be accomplished quickly to restore flight operations. Often, the repairs are made with inadequate materials and insufficient manpower due to limited available resources. Legacy airfield damage repair (ADR) methods for repairing bomb damage consist of using bomb damage debris to fill the crater, followed by placement of crushed stone or rapid-setting flowable fill backfill with a foreign object debris (FOD) cover. While these backfill methods have provided successful results, they are heavily dependent on specific material and equipment resources that are not always readily available. Under emergency conditions, it is desirable to reduce the logistical burden while providing a suitable repair, especially in areas with weak subgrades. Geocells are cellular confinement systems of interconnected cells that can be used to reinforce geotechnical materials. The primary benefit of geocells is that lower quality backfill materials can be used instead of crushed stone to provide a temporary repair. This report summarizes a series of laboratory and field experiments performed to evaluate different geocell materials and geometries in combinations with a variety of soils to verify their effectiveness at supporting heavy aircraft loads. Results provide specific recommendations for using geocell technology for backfill reinforcement for emergency airfield repairs.
  • Alternatives for Large Crater Repairs using Rapid Set Concrete Mix®

    Abstract: Research was conducted at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS, to identify alternative repair methods and materials for large crater repairs using Rapid Set Concrete Mix®. This report presents the technical evaluation of the field performance of full-depth slab replacement methods conducted using Rapid Set Concrete Mix® over varying strength foundations. The performance of each large crater repair was determined by using a load cart representing one-half of the full gear of a C-17 aircraft. Results indicate that using rapid-setting concrete is a viable material for large crater repairs, and the performance is dependent on surface thickness and base strength.
  • 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.
  • First Generation Automated Assessment of Airfield Damage from LiDAR Point Clouds

    Abstract: This research developed an automated software technique for identifying type, size, and location of man-made airfield damage including craters, spalls, and camouflets from a digitized three-dimensional point cloud of the airfield surface. Point clouds were initially generated from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensors mounted on elevated lifts to simulate aerial data collection and, later, an actual unmanned aerial system. LiDAR data provided a high-resolution, globally positioned, and dimensionally scaled point cloud exported in a LAS file format that was automatically retrieved and processed using volumetric detection algorithms developed in the MATLAB software environment. Developed MATLAB algorithms used a three-stage filling technique to identify the boundaries of craters first, then spalls, then camouflets, and scaled their sizes based on the greatest pointwise extents. All pavement damages and their locations were saved as shapefiles and uploaded into the GeoExPT processing environment for visualization and quality control. This technique requires no user input between data collection and GeoExPT visualization, allowing for a completely automated software analysis with all filters and data processing hidden from the user.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Full-Scale Testing of Commercially Available Cementitious Backfill and Surface Capping Materials for Crater Repairs

    Abstract: The Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery (RADR) program currently utilizes rapid-setting flowable fill (RSFF) and rapid-setting concrete (RSC) for backfilling and capping crater repairs. These materials have been proven successful through many full-scale tests, troop demonstrations, and live flight trafficking. However, only one proprietary product is currently approved for each material. Two candidate capping materials and one backfill material were evaluated by conducting simulated crater repairs and collecting appropriate data. For capping products, both small (8.5 ft x 8.5 ft) and large (15 ft x 15 ft) repairs were conducted and trafficked with simulated F-15E aircraft traffic. For the backfill material, three small repairs were backfilled and the California Bearing Ratio (CBR) was estimated at cure times of 0.5, 2, and 24 hr. Overall, repairs capped with Western Materials Fastrac 246 failed after only 2,000 passes, so the material is not currently recommended for approval. Repairs capped with Buzzi Unicem Ulti-Pave3® were able to sustain 3,500 passes before trafficking was ceased, so this material is recommended for approval as a crater repair capping material. CTS rapid-setting flowable fill backfill exhibited lower than expected CBR values and did not allow timely percolation of mix water, so it is not currently recommended for approval at this time.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Laboratory Characterization of Rapid-Setting Flowable Fill

    Abstract: Utility Fill One-Step 750® is a rapid-setting flowable fill product that has previously been validated in numerous full-scale demonstrations as an expedient backfill solution for Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery. Although the field performance of Utility Fill One-Step 750® has been extensively documented, a full laboratory characterization has not been conducted. This report analyzes and documents results from several laboratory tests conducted at two water to-product ratios. The tests conducted are based on the suite of tests that make up the triservice spall repair certification program used for rapid-setting concrete products. Tests include strength and set time-related properties, typical parameter control tests for concrete, and tests to determine the mineralogy and chemical makeup of the material. Long-term expansion and contraction properties were also tested. The data presented herein are intended to provide an overall assessment of Utility Fill One-Step 750® and to provide reasonable estimates of various design parameters. The results can be used as a basis for the future development of a formal laboratory certification protocol to down-select other rapid-setting flowable fill products for further evaluation.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Feasibility Investigation of Inductive Heating of Asphalt Repair Materials

    Abstract: Airfield pavement repairs conducted as part of rapid airfield damage recovery (RADR) activities must utilize suitable materials to reduce the need for subsequent repairs in order to maintain an operable pavement surface. For asphalt concrete pavements, hot mix asphalt (HMA) is typically used, but this requires a fairly large operation and is less practical for small repairs (e.g., small munitions damage, potholes). Instead, cold mix asphalt (CMA) is typically used for small repairs; however, its performance under aircraft loads is generally unacceptable.  The objective of this project was to investigate the feasibility of rapidly heating small-repair quantities (e.g., 5 gal buckets) of asphalt mix to hot mix temperatures in a matter of minutes. This objective was met using 15% steel aggregate by volume to produce an inductive HMA (iHMA) that could be heated from ambient to 320°F in approximately 5 min. This technology was demonstrated at full scale with a prototype field induction heater; iHMA patch repairs were subjected to simulated F-15E traffic and exhibited comparable rutting resistance to conventional HMA, which was considerably improved relative to CMA. Overall, iHMA was found to be a feasible repair material and should be considered for additional refinement and eventual implementation.