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Determination of Terrain Ponding for Logistics Emplacement and Planning


OBJECTIVE: To determine a methodology for predicting logistics site selection and emplacements (distributing bulk fuel, ordinance, personnel, supplies, etc.) by combining weather effects and terrain suitability (elevation, slope, etc.) to create operational overlays to assist warfighters in planning sustainment operations. Innovative technologies for obtaining and ingesting soil and soil-related information in conjunction with terrain and environmental information must be developed. Demonstrate that these methodologies can be developed into algorithms that perform terrain and weather effects analytics using national geospatial agency (NGA) commercial or open mapping toolkits such as the JMTK or OpenMap. DESCRIPTION: Research is required to develop innovative methods and algorithms for determination of key information on local terrain elevation and soil conditions, affecting accumulated precipitation and subsequent runoff from recent rainfalls for inclusion in the My Weather Impacts Decision Aid (MyWIDA). MyWIDA[1] is a rule-based weather expert system and therefore it does not contain rules relative to terrain impacts on systems. Rules may be obtained from either Army Field Manuals or Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Since weather and terrain vary considerably, dependent on location, SMEs play an important role in determining acceptable limits to such rules. The resultant model would be capable of determining logistical emplacements that are subject to ponding and flooding thereby providing the logistics community with a planning tool for advance determination of terrain and weather impacts on the supply chain. Processes such as ponding are highly dependent on the soil strength and type and determination of that information in arbitrary locations is a frequently difficult and time consuming task. Soil strength is in part dependent on soil moisture and on the distribution of water with depth in the soil and it is not possible to extract sufficient soil moisture information directly from satellite data. Thus in situ measurements, state-of-the-ground models[2], statistical methods[3], or other innovative techniques are required. The goal of this project is to augment Army logistical rules for terrain coupling MyWIDA"s weather impacts to these newly developed algorithms to avoid potential and predicted ponding areas in arbitrary locations. MyWIDA does not have the necessary terrain rules, algorithms or data to predict areas prone to ponding. Research and development of this capability for inclusion into MyWIDA will define exclusion criteria to ensure that unsuitable locations are avoided. As an example, when distributing bulk fuel, terrain elevation along the planned route is a key factor that impacts the amount of equipment needed to implement a pipeline system. Ponding of water can impact the ability to traverse the route and could place the pipeline under water resulting in extreme stress to the pipeline along the distribution route. Development of innovative technologies that can be used by MyWIDA will aid in streamlining logistics processes enabling faster deployment, improving mobility, and more effectively sustaining operational forces. For MyWIDA to make use of such information (rules provided in Excel are acceptable) it must be available in either database format, statistically derived from remote sensing capabilities such as satellites, or by other means that can provide such information. Terrain rules, algorithms, precomputed or preprocessed data or other means of obtaining and processing such information speedily is necessary for MyWIDA"s results to be viable. This project would result in and make available a new and flexible application based methodology, providing reliable data for training, analysis and logistical planning. PHASE I: Perform exploratory research using military SMEs as well as Army and Defense Logistics Agency documents to identify rules used by Petroleum and Water planners when deploying the Assault Hose Line System (AHS)[4], Inland Petroleum Distribution System (IPDS)[5], and Tactical Water Distribution System (TWDS)[5] for fuel and water sustainment. Develop an appropriate methodology that will determine ponding and which can be employed by MyWIDA. The technique must be applicable to locations with the area of interest and be able to obtain and reduce the required data within a reasonable time frame (<1 day). Subsequent usage of this (pre-computed, preprocessed, or real-time) data must be easily ingested into the My WIDA framework for examination and usage PHASE II: Develop Implement, test and demonstrate algorithms and techniques for determination of areas subject to ponding terrain and weather system rules resulting in thematic overlays for suitable logistical emplacements. Demonstrate that such algorithms and associated data will work in concert with MyWIDA in concert with a bulk fuel distribution scenario involving AHS, TWDS, or IPDS in an austere setting. This demonstration should include a variety of terrain-related considerations (such as ponding) that will require weather and terrain rules to fully describe the terrain suitability to determine optimal AHS, TWDS, or IPDS routes. Results must be suitable for verification and validation purposes. PHASE III: The technological capability developed would have many beneficial civilian and commercial applications, and a high potential for commercialization. Some examples of commercialization to first responders and other civilian applications include: US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) civil works programs and projects, and emergency response; Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) first responders to natural disasters (e.g., fires, volcanic eruptions/explosions, earthquakes, floods, severe storms, tornadoes and hurricanes) and man made disasters (e.g., nuclear power plant accidents, explosions, and toxic spills); and general support to emergency operations, evacuations, field services (medical, food/water), and contamination control. Terrain suitability analysis has a wide applicability to not only logistics but also to the wider defense and commercial communities as well. REFERENCES: 1. Shirkey, et. al., MyWIDA: Weather Impacts and Data Base for Weapon Systems, Army Research Laboratory, in proceedings ITEA M & S Conference, 2010, & FolderCTID= & View={5433B60E-ADCF-4FDB-9959-866F14E5DF77} 2. Frankenstein, S., and G. Koenig (2004a) Fast All Season Soil STrength (FASST) Model, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, New Hampshire, ERDC/CRREL Special Report SR-04-1, 3. Perry, M.A., and J.D. Niemann, 2008,"Generation of Soil Moisture Patterns at the Catchment Scale by EOF Interpolation,"Hydrology and Earth System Science, 12, 39-53 4. Assault Hose Line System (AHS), 5. Inland Petroleum Distribution System (IPDS), 6. Tactical Water System (TWS),
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