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Sensitivity analysis, calibration and validation of a snow indentation model

Jonah H. Lee, Daisy Huang
Journal of Terramechanics, Volume 49, Issue 6, December 2012, Pages 315-324, ISSN 0022-4898, 10.1016/j.jterra.2012.12.001.
Abstract: Quantification of the mechanical behavior of snow in response to loading is of importance in vehicle-terrain interaction studies. Snow, like other engineering materials, may be studied using indentation tests. However, unlike engineered materials with targeted and repeatable material properties, snow is a naturally-occurring, heterogeneous material whose mechanical properties display a statistical distribution. This study accounts for the statistical nature of snow behavior that is calculated from the pressure-sinkage curves from indentation tests. Recent developments in the field of statistics were used in conjunction with experimental results to calibrate, validate, and study the sensitivity of the plasticity-based snow indentation model. It was found that for material properties, in the semi-infinite zone of indentation, the cohesion has the largest influence on indentation pressure, followed by one of the the hardening coefficients. In the finite depth zone, the friction angle has the largest influence on the indentation pressure. A Bayesian metamodel was developed, and model parameters were calibrated by maximizing a Gaussian likelihood function. The calibrated model was validated using three local and global confidence-interval based metrics with good results.
Keywords: Indentation; Snow; Drucker-Prager; Validation; Calibration; Sensitivity; Bayesian; Metrics; Bias; Surrogate