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Archive: September, 2021
  • Evaluation of light limitation and depth on germinated seeds of two species of water chestnut cultured under experimental conditions

    Abstract: This technical note describes the results of a mesocosm experiment to determine the light and depth limitations of growth chamber germinated seeds of two species of water chestnut (Trapa spp.) naturalized in the northeastern United States.
  • Associated Words Explorer (AWE) User Manual

    Abstract: This manual is intended for new users with minimal or no experience with using the Associated Word Explorer (AWE) tool. The goal of this document is to give an overview of the main functions of AWE. 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 AWE tool. For additional information about this manual, contact
  • An Investigation of the Feasibility of Assimilating COSMOS Soil Moisture into GeoWATCH

    Abstract: This project objective evaluated the potential of improving linked weather-and-mobility model predictions by blending soil moisture observations from a Cosmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing System (COSMOS) sensor with weather-informed predictions of soil moisture and soil strength from the Geospatial Weather-Affected Terrain Conditions and Hazards (GeoWATCH). Assimilating vehicle-borne COSMOS observations that measure local effects model predictions of soil moisture offered potential to produce more accurate soil strength and vehicle mobility forecast was the hypothesis. This project compared soil moisture observations from a COSMOS mobile sensor driven around an area near Iowa Falls, IA, with both GeoWATCH soil moisture predictions and in situ probe observations. The evaluation of the COSMOS rover data finds that the soil moisture measurements contain a low measurement bias while the GeoWATCH estimates more closely matched the in situ data. The COSMOS rover captured a larger dynamic range of soil moisture conditions as compared to GeoWATCH, capturing both very wet and very dry soil conditions, which may better flag areas of high risk for mobility considerations. Overall, more study of the COSMOS rover is needed to better understand sensor performance in a variety of soil conditions to determine the feasibility of assimilating the COSMOS rover estimates into GeoWATCH.
  • Penetration Modeling of Ultra‐High Performance Concrete using Multiscale Meshfree Methods

    Abstract: Terminal ballistics of concrete is of extreme importance to the military and civil communities. Over the past few decades, ultra‐high performance concrete (UHPC) has been developed for various applications in the design of protective structures because UHPC has an enhanced ballistic resistance over conventional strength concrete. Developing predictive numerical models of UHPC subjected to penetration is critical in understanding the material's enhanced performance. This study employs the advanced fundamental concrete (AFC) model, and it runs inside the reproducing kernel particle method (RKPM)‐based code known as the nonlinear meshfree analysis program (NMAP). NMAP is advantageous for modeling impact and penetration problems that exhibit extreme deformation and material fragmentation. A comprehensive experimental study was conducted to characterize the UHPC. The investigation consisted of fracture toughness testing, the utilization of nondestructive microcomputed tomography analysis, and projectile penetration shots on the UHPC targets. To improve the accuracy of the model, a new scaled damage evolution law (SDEL) is employed within the microcrack informed damage model. During the homogenized macroscopic calculation, the corresponding microscopic cell needs to be dimensionally equivalent to the mesh dimension when the partial differential equation becomes ill posed and strain softening ensues. Results of numerical investigations will be compared with results of penetration experiments.
  • Natural Language Indexing for Pedoinformatics

    Abstract: The multiple schema for the classification of soils rely on differing criteria but the major soil science systems, including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the international harmonized World Reference Base for Soil Resources soil classification systems, are primarily based on inferred pedogenesis. Largely these classifications are compiled from individual observations of soil characteristics within soil profiles, and the vast majority of this pedologic information is contained in non-quantitative text descriptions. We present initial text mining analyses of parsed text in the digitally available USDA soil taxonomy documentation and the Soil Survey Geographic database. Previous research has shown that latent information structure can be extracted from scientific literature using Natural Language Processing techniques, and we show that this latent information can be used to expedite query performance by using syntactic elements and part-of-speech tags as indices. Technical vocabulary often poses a text mining challenge due to the rarity of its diction in the broader context. We introduce an extension to the common English vocabulary that allows for nearly-complete indexing of USDA Soil Series Descriptions.
  • Field Evaluation of GNSS/GPS Based RTK, RTN, and RTX Correction Systems

    Abstract: This Coastal and Hydraulic Engineering Technical Note (CHETN) details an evaluation of three Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)/Global Positioning System (GPS) real-time correction methods capable of providing centimeter-level positioning. Internet and satellite-delivered correction systems, Real Time Network (RTN) and Real Time eXtended (RTX), respectively, are compared to a traditional ground-based two-way radio transmission correction system, generally referred to as Local RTK, or simply RTK. Results from this study will provide prospective users background information on each of these positioning systems and comparisons of their respective accuracies during in field operations.
  • On Enhancing the Mechanical Behavior of Ultra-High Performance Concrete Through Multi-Scale Fiber Reinforcement

    Abstract: Steel fibers are typically used in ultra-high performance concretes (UHPC) to impart flexural ductility and increase fracture toughness. However, the mechanical properties of the steel fibers are underutilized in UHPC, as evidenced by the fact that most of the steel fibers pull out of a UHPC matrix largely undamaged during tensile or flexural tests. This research aims to improve the bond between steel fibers and a UHPC matrix by using steel wool. The underlying mechanism for fiber-matrix bond improvement is the reinforcement of the matrix tunnel, surrounding the steel fibers, by steel wool. Single fiber pullout tests were performed to quantify the effect of steel wool content in UHPC on the fiber-matrix bond. Microscopic observations of pulled-out fibers were used to investigate the fiber-matrix interface. Compared to the control UHPC mixture with no steel wool, significant improvement in the flexural behavior was observed in the UHPC mixtures with steel wool. Thus, the addition of steel wool in steel fiber-reinforced UHPC provides multi-scale reinforcement that leads to significant improvement in fiber-matrix bond and mechanical properties of UHPC.
  • KM Tools: Making Connections

    ABSTRACT: Knowledge management is vital to successfully executing research and development programs within the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). Experimental knowledge management initiatives over the years led to discoveries about the best ways to store and access ERDC’s vast knowledge base. This document highlights several of the effective knowledge management tools that evolved from these discoveries, helping you to find and share knowledge!
  • Photo Degradation Kinetics of Insensitive Munitions Constituents Nitroguanidine, Nitrotriazolone, and Dinitroanisole in Natural Waters

    Abstract: Herein the matrix effects on the kinetics of aqueous photolysis for the individual munitions constituents of IMX-101: nitroguanidine (NQ), dinitroanisole (DNAN), and nitrotriazolone (NTO) are reported along with the environmentally relevant kinetics and quantum yields. Photolysis potentially represents a major degradation pathway for these munitions in the environment and further understanding the complex matrices effects on photolytic kinetics was needed. Aqueous systems are of particular interest due to the high solubility of NQ (3,800 ppm) and NTO (16,642 ppm) compared to the traditional munitions trinitrotoluene (TNT, 100.5 ppm) and 1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX, 59.9 ppm). Environmental half-lives (and quantum yields) were found to be 0.44 days, 0.83 days, and 4.4 days for NQ, DNAN, and NTO, respectively, under natural sunlight. In laboratory experiments using nominally 300 nm bulbs in a merry-go-round style reactor in DI water the relative rate of photolysis for the three munitions constituents followed the same order NQ > DNAN > NTO, where DNAN and NTO reacted 57 and 115 times more slowly, respectively, than NQ. In the various environmentally relevant matrices tested in the laboratory experiments NQ was not significantly affected, DNAN showed a faster degradation with increasing ionic strength, and NTO showed a modest salinity and pH dependence on its rate of photolysis.
  • Variability in Weed Biological Control: Effects of Foliar Nitrogen on Larval Development and Dispersal of the Alligatorweed Flea Beetle, Agasicles hygrophila

    Abstract: Host quality can have dramatic effects on performance of biological control agents but its importance is understudied. We used a combination of field measurements and laboratory experiments to determine the range of foliar nitrogen (FN) that larvae of the alligatorweed flea beetle (Agasicles hygrophila) are exposed to in the field and its importance to larval development and dispersal. Seasonal variability in FN was assessed at field sites spanning southern to northern Louisiana every 2–3 weeks during the growing season for four years. In a series of laboratory experiments, alligatorweed FN was manipulated to examine its influence on larval development and survival (under different temperature regimes), adult biomass, and dispersal of the biological control agent, A. hygrophila. Foliar nitrogen and rearing temperature had strong independent effects on larval development rate. We demonstrated that increasing nitrogen in leaf tissues shortens larval A. hygrophila developmental time and increases survival to adulthood, regardless of exposure temperature during development. It also suggests that foliar nitrogen may have important effects on biological control of alligatorweed, particularly as a result of seasonal variation in temperature and plant nutrition at field sites, and could contribute to observed variation in A. hygrophila efficacy in the field.