Publication news

Measuring vehicle impacts on snow roads

S. Shoop, M. Knuth, W. Wieder
Journal of Terramechanics, Volume 50, Issue 1, February 2013, Pages 63-71, ISSN 0022-4898
Abstract: The snow roads at McMurdo Station are the primary transport corridors to move personnel and material from the airfields servicing intra- and inter-continental air traffic for resupply. Thus, they are a critical transportation component and are particularly susceptible to deterioration during the warmest parts of the austral summer when above-freezing temperatures can occur for several days at a time. This study served to explore methodology that could quantify the impact of various vehicles, tires, driving speeds and maneuvers on the snow road conditions. Basic maneuvers were used to isolate the impact of turning, acceleration, braking and speed using spirals, circles, and straight-line testing on a flat, smooth snow pavement. In addition, a road course was set up to include corners and roughness using portions of the active snow roads for more realistic conditions. Measurements included snow surface strength both 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. Results indicate the impacts of driving speed and vehicle type including the importance of the tire and suspension components for preserving the road surfaces through the melt season. Since this type of testing had not been done on snow before, or using these vehicle types, the experiments yielded valuable guidance regarding what types of maneuvers, test surfaces, and measurements could most easily differentiate performance.
Keywords: Strength; Disturbance; Rut; Rammsonde; Clegg; Maneuver; Turning; Corner; Speed