Integrated Terrain Analysis Program

Program Description

The highly variable nature of terrain (e.g. topography, ground/vegetation cover, soil type) can greatly impact global military operations. Mission success, including operational mobility, weapon performance, communications, and counter IED/landmine, all depend on accurate knowledge of terrain conditions. Unfortunately, accurate terrain data in areas of strategic interest is commonly limited or inaccurate.

DRI developed the Integrated Terrain Analysis Program (ITAP) to advance technology to provide prompt and accurate characterization of all terrain types and conditions using a combination of space and airborne information and science-expert analysis. The objective of ITAP is to provide customer focused, science-based knowledge of terrain conditions tailored to specific military issues and challenges.

 

About ITAP

The highly variable nature of the terrain (e.g., topography, ground/vegetation cover, soil condition) greatly impacts the success of military operations. Mission success, including operational mobility, weapon performance, communications, and counter IED/landmine, all depend on accurate knowledge of terrain condition. Unfortunately, accurate terrain data in areas of strategic interest is commonly limited or inaccurate. DRI developed the Integrated Terrain Analysis Program (ITAP) to advance technology that provides prompt and accurate characterization of all terrain types and conditions using a combination of space- and airborne- information and science-expert analysis. The objective of ITAP is to provide customer-focused, science-based knowledge of terrain conditions tailored to specific military issues and challenges.

Desert Research Institute (DRI) scientists provide the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) with a wide range of science-based information in support of global military objectives. Generating positive results is based on DRI’s unique, team-based structure that overlaps all critical scientific aspects of land, air, and water. DRI support ranges from enhancing sustainability of military installations, to test and evaluation of military equipment, to providing soil and terrestrial data in support of military tactical operations.

Department of Defense Sponsors and Principal Activity

ERDC Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL)

  • Terrain evaluation for mobility in areas of interest across eastern Europe
  • Identifying U.S. analog soil-terrain sites representing eastern Europe and the Korean Peninsula
  • Technology development to characterize important soil parameters for IED/landmine detection
  • Advancing technology to measure soil dust emission at high wind speeds and high flux rates
  • Determining areas of high dust emission potential across the southwestern U.S.
  • Developed methods for UAS-based thermal and optical sensors to predict subsurface moisture
  • Developed methods for remote sensing imagery to predict soil strength for military operations

Army Research Office (2003-2012)

  • Developed methods to predict soil/terrain conditions in areas of interest for military operations
  • Characterized soil strength parameters for military installations in tropic, temperate, polar, and desert regions
  • Developed technology to measure and monitor energy and mass balance across the soil-atmosphere boundary
  • Developed new cost-effective methods to monitor ecosystem status, enhancing range sustainability
  • Produced an innovative, cost-effective, soil-terrain model to predict location of cultural resource features
  • Developed and tested portable technology for the rapid measurement of soil dust emission in remote locations

Army Yuma Proving Ground (1998-2018)

  • High-resolution measurements of surface roughness for vehicle mobility and durability test courses
  • Measurement of soil dielectric, seismic, thermal, and physical attributes: landmine/C-IED test lanes
  • Developed technology to measure and monitor Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) type dust clouds
  • Produced global physiographic, landcover, and climatic maps defining Military Operating Environments
  • Investigated desert dust impacts on military equipment as applied to test operations
  • Produced a series of soil and terrain maps linking YPG test areas with countries of interest
  • Developing a GIS geospatial platform enhancing access to 20 years of YPG soil and terrain test data
  • Comprehensive soil and terrain characterization of vehicle durability, mobility, and dust test courses
  • Conducted cultural resource investigations to enhance use of YPG terrain for test operations
  • Soil characterization for heavy vehicle test courses in Suriname

Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) (2009–2012)

  • Analysis of ground impacts to radio frequency propagation
  • Soil geophysical research and characterization of the YPG Joint Experimental Range Complex (JERC) in support of counter-IED operations

Air Force Weather Agency, Offutt Air Force Base (2009–2011)

  • Development of comprehensive dust emission data for dust/sand storm forecasting in USACENTCOM AOR
  • Generated detailed landform and land cover maps for CENTCOM AOR

Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine (2005-2007)

  • Enhanced particulate matter (dust/aerosols) surveillance for Forward Operating Bases across southwest Asia
  • Determined military personnel exposure levels of chemical elements in soils and dust

Other Department of Defense Project Sponsors

  • Combat Capabilities Development Command (formerly Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM)
  • Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, ERDC-CRREL (NVESD)
  • Strategic Environmental Research and Development program (SERDP)
  • US Military academy (USMA) West Point
  • Air Force Research laboratory (AFRL)

Services Offered

  • Analysis of dust impacts to military equipment and operations
  • Comprehensive characterization of dust and aerosols: mineralogical, emissions, airborne transport, modeling
  • Terrain and environmental evaluation and mapping for military operations and training (U.S. to global).
  • Field and laboratory characterization of soil, sediment, and rock properties
  • Local to global assessment of military operating environments (tropic, desert, cold-region, temperate) in support of test and evaluation activities and military operations
  • Comprehensive environmental analysis (climate, vegetation, hydrology, cultural resources) to support range operations and sustainability
  • Global to local remote-sensing, terrestrial image analysis, digital elevation data
  • Hydrological modeling, evaluation, monitoring, analysis (surface and ground water)
  • Sustainability of test and training ranges (natural and cultural resources)
  • UAS airborne production and analysis of optical, thermal, and digital elevation models of military terrain
  • Extensive GIS and remote sensing capabilities for terrain and environmental analysis

Project Name

Date

Catalog of Analogs: Terrain Similarities between the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground and central southwest Asia 2008
Recommendations for the Development of a Dust Suppressant Test Operations Procedure (TOP) Performed at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground 2010
Department of Defense Enhanced Particulate Matter Surveillance Program (EPMSP) 2008
Fort A.P. Hill Test Site Characterization, Mapping and Imaging 2011
Geochemical and Physical Characteristics of Vehicle Endurance and Dust Test Courses at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground 2015
Geochemical and Physical Characteristics of YPG Dust Course Samples 2005
Global Physiographic and Climatic Maps to Support Revision of Environmental Testing Guidelines 2009
Global Military Operating Environments (GMOE) Phase I: Linking Natural Environments, International Security, and Military Operations 2015
Soil Analysis of Samples from Areas Adjacent to the Truck Gravel Course and Mesa Dust, U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground 2017
Geochemical and Physical Characteristics of Iraqi Dust and Soil Samples 2004
Iraqi Landform Soil Assessment (ILSA): Bulk Soil Analysis Results 2008
Geomorphic and Soil Investigations at Joint Experimental Research Complex (JERC) Sites 1& 2, U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground 2008
Landforms and Surface Cover of U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground 2009
Landforms and surface cover of Vehicle Endurance and Dust Test Courses at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground Final Report 2006
Mapping Methods Used to Predict Soil Textural Properties Across Two Large Areas of the Baltic Region of Eastern Europe 2019
Development of a Master Environmental Reference Site (MERS) Remote Display for the YPG Countermine Facility
Final Report: Desert Soil Characterization for Detection of Buried Landmines, Unexploded Ordinance, and Tunnels 2010
Desert Soil Characterization for Detection of Buried Landmines, Unexploded Ordinance, and Tunnels 2019
Landforms and Surface Cover of Vehicle Endurance and Dust Test Courses at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground
Soil Analysis of Samples from Areas Adjacent to the Truck Gravel Course and Mesa Dust, U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground 2010
Radon monitoring at Yuma Proving Ground 2019
Preliminary Analysis of Weather Data for U.S. Department of Defense Installations with Potential for Tropical Testing on a Seasonal Basis 2009
Analysis of desert shrubs along first-order channels on desert piedmonts: possible indicators of ecosystem condition and historic variation 2004
Analysis of Desert Shrubs Along First-Order Channels on Desert Piedmonts: Possible Indicators of Ecosystem Condition and Historic Variation 2004
Regional Dust and Salt Concentration Maps of Southwest Asia in Support of the Prevention of Sand Induced Circuit Card and Electrical Interconnect System Corrosion 2007

 

CONTACT

Eric McDonald, Ph.D.
Program Director
Eric.McDonald@dri.edu

LAB LOCATION

Desert Research Institute
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512

DIVISION

Earth & Ecosystem Sciences