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  • Improving Winter Traction for Vehicles in Northern Operations

    Abstract: As part of the campaign to increase readiness in northern regions, a near commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution was identified for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV); and used to assess the suitability of commercially available winter tires for operational deployment. Initial performance evaluations conducted during the winters of 2020 and 2021 demonstrated and quantified significant improvements to traction and handling on a variety of winter surfaces. User feedback from United States Army Alaska (USARAK) Soldiers confirmed these results in an operational environment. Results of this study provide new winter tire specifications for the Army and justify the procurement of a HMMWV winter tire for improved safety and capability for US Soldier and vehicle fleet needs. The data and Soldier evaluations support attaining a National Stock Number (NSN) and provide data to develop models of winter vehicle performance that include the impact of winter tires and chains. This work also paves the way for future development and procurement of winter tires for vehicles where COTS solutions are unavailable. The motivation is to provide Soldiers with state-of-the-art winter tires to increase safety, capability, and operational compatibility with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partners in the European Theater of Operations, and mobility superiority in all environments.
  • Development of Smartphone-Based Semi-Prepared Runway Operations (SPRO) Models and Methods

    Abstract: The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) has developed a method for predicting surface friction response by use of ground vehicles equipped with deceleration-based measurement devices. Specifically, the ERDC has developed models and measurement methods between the Findlay Irvine Mk2 GripTester and a variety of deceleration measurement devices: Bowmonk AFM2 Mk3, Xsens MTi-G-710, two Android smartphones, and two iOS smartphones. These models show positive correlation between ground vehicle deceleration and fixed-slip surface continuous surface friction measurement. This effort extends prior work conducted by the U.S. Army ERDC in developing highly correlative models between the Findlay Irvine Mk2 GripTester and actual C-17 braking deceleration, measured via the runway condition rating (RCR) system. The models and measurement methods detailed here are of considerable use to semi-prepared airfield managers around the world needing to measure safe landing conditions following inclement weather. This work provides the tools necessary for airfield managers to quantify safe landing conditions for C-17 aircraft by using easily obtainable equipment and simple test standards.
  • A Detailed Approach to Autonomous Vehicle Control through Ros and Pixhawk Controllers

    Abstract: A Polaris MRZR military utility vehicle was used as a testing platform to develop a novel, low cost yet feature-rich, approach to adding remote operation and autonomous driving capability to a military vehicle. The main concept of operation adapts steering and throttle output from a low cost commercially available Pixhawk autopilot controller and translates the signal into the necessary inputs for the Robot Operating System (ROS) based drive by wire system integrated into the MRZR. With minimal modification these enhancements could be applied to any vehicle with similar ROS integration. This paper details the methods and testing approach used to develop this autonomous driving capability.
  • Corrosion and Performance of Dust Palliatives: Laboratory and Field Studies

    Abstract: This report details laboratory and field experiments on BioPreferred® dust suppressants to assess performance and corrosion characteristics. Numerous bio-based dust suppressant products are marketed, but little data are available to assess performance for dust abatement and corrosion of common metals. A laboratory study used an air impingement device and the Portable In-Situ Wind ERosion Laboratory (PI-SWERL) to simulate wind speeds similar to those in field conditions for rotary wing aircraft. Laboratory corrosion studies used metal coupons imbedded in soil treated with dust palliative. Field trials were conducted using ground vehicle traffic to minimize cost and lower safety concerns while increasing surface wear from repetitive traffic. These studies clearly show that bio-based products demonstrate low corrosion potential with similar dust abatement performance to synthetic-based agents.
  • Data Documentation Tool (DDoT) User Manual

    Abstract: This manual is intended for new users with minimal or no experience with using the Data Documentation Tool. The goal of this document is to give an overview of the main functions of DDoT. The primary focus of this doc-ument is to demonstrate functionality. Every effort has been made to ensure this document is an accurate repre-sentation of the functionality of the DDoT. For additional information about this manual, contact ERDC.JAIC@erdc.dren.mil
  • JAIC Predictive Maintenance Dashboard User Manual

    Abstract: This manual is intended for new users with minimal or no experience with using the JAIC Predictive Maintenance Dashboard (JPD). The goal of this document is to give an overview of the main functions of JPD. The primary focus of this document is to demonstrate functionality. Every effort has been made to ensure this document is an accurate representation of the functionality of the JPD. For additional information about this manual, contact ERDC.JAIC@erdc.dren.mil
  • Snow-Covered Obstacles’ Effect on Vehicle Mobility

    ABSTRACT:  The Mobility in Complex Environments project used unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to identify obstacles and to provide path planning in forward operational locations. The UAS were equipped with remote-sensing devices, such as photogrammetry and lidar, to identify obstacles. The path-planning algorithms incorporated the detected obstacles to then identify the fastest and safest vehicle routes. Future algorithms should incorporate vehicle characteristics as each type of vehicle will perform differently over a given obstacle, resulting in distinctive optimal paths. This study explored the effect of snow-covered obstacles on dynamic vehicle response. Vehicle tests used an instrumented HMMWV (high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle) driven over obstacles with and without snow cover. Tests showed a 45% reduction in normal force variation and a 43% reduction in body acceleration associated with a 14.5 cm snow cover. To predict vehicle body acceleration and normal force response, we developed two quarter-car models: rigid terrain and deformable snow terrain quarter-car models. The simple quarter models provided reasonable agreement with the vehicle test data. We also used the models to analyze the effects of vehicle parameters, such as ground pressure, to understand the effect of snow cover on vehicle response.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Seasonal Effects on Vehicle Mobility: High-Latitude Case Study

    Abstract: Seasonality plays a key role in altering the terrain of many military operating environments. Since seasonality has such a large impact on the terrain, it needs to be properly accounted for in vehicle dynamics models. This work outlines a variety of static and dynamic seasonal terrain conditions and their impacts on vehicle mobility in an austere region of Europe. Overall the vehicles performed the best in the dry season condition. The thaw season condition had the most drastic impact on mobility with all but the heavy tracked vehicle being almost completely NOGO in the region. Overall, the heavy tracked vehicle had the best performance in all terrain conditions. These results highlight the importance of incorporating seasonal impacts on terrain into NRMM or any vehicle dynamics model. Future work will focus on collecting more data to improve the empirical relationships between vehicles and seasonal terrain conditions, thereby allowing for more accurate speed predictions.