Accession Number:

ADA605496

Title:

Vehicle Impact Testing of Snow Roads at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER NH

Report Date:

2014-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

65.0

Abstract:

In December 2009, a study was conducted to determine how vehicle operations impact snow roads. The snow roads at McMurdo Station are the primary transport corridors to move personnel and material from the airfields servicing intra- and inter-continental flights. Thus, they are a critical transportation component and are also particularly susceptible to deterioration during warm temperatures. This study explored methodology to quantify the impact of various vehicles, tires, driving speeds, and maneuvers on snow-road conditions. The specific impacts of turning, acceleration, braking, and speed were isolated using spirals, circles, and straight-line testing on compacted snow surfaces. Portions of the active snow-road system were also used in a road course involving corners and surface roughness. Measurements included the strength of the snow surface in and between tire tracks, tire-track rut depth and width, and the height and width of the resulting snow piles adjacent to the tire tracks. The experiments yielded valuable guidance regarding what types of testing and measurements could most easily differentiate performance. Results indicate the impacts of driving speed and vehicle type, including the importance of the tire and suspension components, on preserving satisfactory snow-road surfaces through the melt season.

Subject Categories:

  • Meteorology
  • Surface Transportation and Equipment

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE