GMOE II: Linking Natural Environments, International Security, and military Operations with a focus on Afghanistan and SW Asia

Affiliation(s)PIProject periodFunded by
DEES McDonald, Eric V 09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012 DoD - Army, Robert Morris Acquisition Center

Project Description

The environmental conditions and parameters used in Army testing of material and equipment should replicate the environmental conditions that are anticipated for areas where the U.S. Army will be deployed. In particular, extreme climatic and physical factors should be incorporated into live testing protocols to ensure functionality and sustainability of vehicles and weapons systems as well as enhancing battlefield technologies. This proposed research lays out tasks to be conducted as GMOE Phase II that will include expansion of several of the tasks conducted under Phase 1 (ARO Proposal No. 55065-EV) and provide enhanced understanding in several key areas related to Afghanistan and other areas of strategic interest in S.W. Asia and the Gulf States. Additional focus on environmental conditions related to Afghanistan is warranted due to a projected increase in military activities in Afghanistan beginning in 2009. The overall scope of the proposed project is characterizing soil and terrain across all four major environmental systems (deserts, cold regions, tropics, and temperate zones). Research activities will range from comprehensive analysis of soil, physical, and chemical processes with emphasis on the flux of mass and energy at the soil-atmosphere boundary across a broad range of environmental conditions. Results will be especially critical to development and testing of technologies for the identification and defeat of IEDs. Overall project objectives include:

(1) Establish multiple Master Environmental Reference Sites (MERS) for comprehensive characterization of soil processes that represent prevalent terrain conditions critical for military operations and testing.

(2) Initiate data analysis of the established MERS to evaluate temporal dynamics of energy fluxes under both natural and disturbed conditions in varying climatic conditions.

(3) Explore and develop techniques, methods, and results using near-surface processes that support development and testing of technologies for detection and defeat of IEDs.

(4) Characterize terrain conditions at primary testing and training installations to determine terrain analogs with areas of current and future strategic interest.

(5) Characterize general soil and terrain conditions for Afghanistan and other areas of strategic interest in CENTCOM.

(6) Establish a military environments reference database that will collate soil and terrain data and related literature to increase availability of global terrain data to the testing and training community.