Accession Number:



SnowMicroPenetrometer Applications for Winter Vehicle Mobility

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

ERDC Hanover United States

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The U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory pro-vides technical support to military forces, one area being vehicle mobility modeling over snow. Many factors control vehicle performance, including the vehicle specifications and the land surface conditions. However, estimating snow macromechanical propertiessuch as elastic modulus, stiff-ness, and strengthis critical for understanding how effectively a vehicle will travel over snow-covered terrain. Vehicle instrumentation data and observations of the snow pack are necessary to improve the estimates of winter vehicle performance. Currently, snow depth and bulk snow density alone drive the available mobility performance index. This research deployed a SnowMicroPenetrometer SMP to measure hard, vehicle-compacted snow and groomed snow roads. Microstructural and micromechanical properties derived from the SMP data analysis were correlated to the Rammsonde penetrometer hardness, an established snow instrument, and to the shear-strength test vane and Light Weight Deflectometer, which are common in soil and aggregate layer assurance methods in road construction. Correlating these tools requires a new theory for inverting SMP signals for micromechanical properties that relaxes the assumption of low-density snow. Additionally, a scaling law appropriate to this type of hard snow is required to relate the SMP observations of the microscale and the macroscale properties.

Subject Categories:

  • Mechanics
  • Snow, Ice and Permafrost

Distribution Statement: