Sunday, 5 October 2008: 11:15 AM
George R. Brown Convention Center, 342AD
Airborne dust suppression is of critical importance in desert military operating environments. Airborne dust is commonly generated in the desert by surface and near-surface operations through a variety of different traffic impacts. The efficacy of a polyvinyl-based synthetic polymer application as a dust suppressant was tested at four time intervals over a 20-week period in the late spring and early summer of 2008 in the Sonoran Desert. At each time interval the application was subjected to 6 different traffic impact types: 1) low-flying rotorcraft; 2) tracked vehicle; 3) heavy weight wheeled vehicle; 4) medium weight wheeled vehicle; 5) low weight wheeled vehicle; and 6) pedestrian. Combinations of different traffic impact types, including multiple vehicle and rotorcraft passes, occurred at three separate test sites. The test sites were chosen based primarily on differences in surface characteristics and soil texture. Surface soil properties measured at each test site include shear strength using a shear vane, unconfined compressive strength using a pocket penetrometer, as well as dust emission and saltation using a Portable In Situ Wind Erosion Laboratory (PI-SWERL). Pending results from field and laboratory data analysis, the efficacy of the application will be quantified not only with respect to degradation through increases in different traffic type impacts, but also over time among the different test sites. Results of this project will be used to develop a testing protocol for testing the performance of commercial dust sealants for military operations.