Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory

Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory'
Start a new discussion about 'Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) is a United States Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

, Engineer Research and Development Center research facility headquartered in Hanover
Hanover, New Hampshire
Hanover is a town along the Connecticut River in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 11,260 at the 2010 census. CNN and Money magazine rated Hanover the sixth best place to live in America in 2011, and the second best in 2007....

, New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

 that provides scientific and engineering support to the U.S. government and its military with a core emphasis on cold environments. CRREL also provides technical support to non-government customers.

CRREL arose from a consolidation of three antecedent organizations whose purpose was to understand frozen ground, permafrost, snow and ice as factors which were important in strategic northern areas during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. In its first 25 years CRREL researchers contributed to the understanding of polar ice caps, permafrost, and the engineering technology for developing natural resources in cold climates, such as Alaska. More recently, CRREL researchers have made contributions to science in climate change, the understanding of wave propagation for sensor systems, the control of snow on structures and ice in navigable waterways, and the environmental remediation of military installations.

Mission areas


The stated mission of CRREL is to "solve interdisciplinary, strategically important problems of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Army, DOD, and the Nation by advancing and applying science and engineering to complex environments, materials, and processes in all seasons and climates, with unique core competencies related to the Earth's cold regions."

The technical areas that CRREL staff reportedly engage in are:
  • Biogeochemical
    Biochemistry
    Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes...

     processes in soil
    Soil
    Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

    s
    – Encompasses the management and remediation of military training lands and characterizing how microorganisms survive in soils subject to freezing.
  • Infrastructure
    Infrastructure
    Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

     in cold regions
    – Addresses building envelope
    Building envelope
    The building envelope is the physical separator between the interior and the exterior environments of a building. Another emerging term is "Building Enclosure". It serves as the outer shell to help maintain the indoor environment and facilitate its climate control...

    s, pavement technology, geotechnical engineering
    Geotechnical engineering
    Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behavior of earth materials. Geotechnical engineering is important in civil engineering, but is also used by military, mining, petroleum, or any other engineering concerned with construction on or in the ground...

    , the design and repair of aircraft runways, and polar facilities.
  • The fate and transport of chemicals in the environment – Addresses the detection and the modeling of distribution and movement of chemical contaminants in soils. It includes topics relating to permafrost
    Permafrost
    In geology, permafrost, cryotic soil or permafrost soil is soil at or below the freezing point of water for two or more years. Ice is not always present, as may be in the case of nonporous bedrock, but it frequently occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of...

     degradation.
  • Hydrology
    Hydrology
    Hydrology is the study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability...

     and hydraulics
    Hydraulics
    Hydraulics is a topic in applied science and engineering dealing with the mechanical properties of liquids. Fluid mechanics provides the theoretical foundation for hydraulics, which focuses on the engineering uses of fluid properties. In fluid power, hydraulics is used for the generation, control,...

    – Encompasses the processes related to ice in rivers, locks and dams and their effects on ships. Supporting this effort is the CRREL Ice Jam Database. It also addresses snow hydrology by characterizing the distribution and runoff rates of snow, using various investigative techniques.

  • Support of military maneuverability and air operations – Addresses the mobility of vehicles over terrain subject to snow, ice, freezing and thawing. It includes the operation of aircraft on minimal improved landing sites. Related work addresses operations in Antarctica, supporting over-ice transport and snow and ice runways.
  • Propagation of signals to sensors and imaging systems – Encompasses the use of ground-penetrating radar, radar, seismic sensors, and acoustic sensors to develop methods to model the propagation of millimeter-wave, seismic and acoustical signals through various media. This research is applied to the detection of unexploded ordinance and military targets.
  • Terrestrial and meteorological
    Meteorology
    Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

     processes in cold regions
    – Addresses the state of natural and man-made terrain for modeling their physical characteristics. It encompasses the science of sea ice and glaciers to the micro-scale processes that represent the formation of snow and ice crystals. The scientific problems include global climate change and the influence of weather on aviation and transportation.
  • Geospatial
    Geospatial
    Geospatial analysis is an approach to applying statistical analysis and other informational techniques to geographically based data. Such analysis employs spatial software and analytical methods with terrestrial or geographic datasets, including geographic information systems and...

     applications for tracking water resources
    – Emphasizes the use of remote sensing techniques and the use of mapping imagery to understand environmental and technical problems at a geographic scale.

Facilities



The main facility is located in Hanover
Hanover, New Hampshire
Hanover is a town along the Connecticut River in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 11,260 at the 2010 census. CNN and Money magazine rated Hanover the sixth best place to live in America in 2011, and the second best in 2007....

, New Hampshire north of Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

. The facilities include:
  • Cold Rooms for experimentation on frozen materials
  • A Frost Effects Research Facility (FERF), devoted to the study of large-scale soil systems, like pavements.
  • An Ice Engineering Facility (IEF), which is devoted to the study of ice effects in navigable waterways, hydrology and hydraulics problems, flooding and other matters that may result from ice formation.
  • A Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (RS/GIS) facility
  • A permafrost
    Permafrost
    In geology, permafrost, cryotic soil or permafrost soil is soil at or below the freezing point of water for two or more years. Ice is not always present, as may be in the case of nonporous bedrock, but it frequently occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of...

     tunnel near Fairbanks
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Fairbanks is a home rule city in and the borough seat of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska.Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska, and second largest in the state behind Anchorage...

    , Alaska.

Other laboratories cover chemistry, biology, and civil engineering topics.

CRREL maintains an office at Fort Wainwright
Fort Wainwright
Fort Wainwright is a United States Army post adjacent to Fairbanks in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Fairbanks, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

, near Fairbanks
Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks is a home rule city in and the borough seat of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska.Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska, and second largest in the state behind Anchorage...

, Alaska, and an office at the Army Corps of Engineers Alaska District in Anchorage
Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost major city in the United States...

, Alaska.

History


CRREL was formed on 1 February 1961 from a merger of the earlier Snow, Ice and Permafrost Research Establishment (SIPRE) with the Arctic Construction and Frost Effects Laboratory (AFCEL).

Antecedents and establishment



CRREL's antecedents and establishment were chronicled in an official history. In 1944-53 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

 established three independent organizations that were the antecedents to CRREL. Within its New England Division, the Corps of Engineers founded the Frost Effects Laboratory to "coordinate research on the effects of frost
Frost
Frost is the solid deposition of water vapor from saturated air. It is formed when solid surfaces are cooled to below the dew point of the adjacent air as well as below the freezing point of water. Frost crystals' size differ depending on time and water vapour available. Frost is also usually...

 on the design and construction of roads, airfields and structures in frost-affected areas," based in Boston, Massachusetts in 1944. The Corps of Engineers' St. Paul
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city...

 (Minnesota) District established its Permafrost Division in 1944 to determine design methods and construction procedures for the construction of airfields on permafrost
Permafrost
In geology, permafrost, cryotic soil or permafrost soil is soil at or below the freezing point of water for two or more years. Ice is not always present, as may be in the case of nonporous bedrock, but it frequently occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of...

.

The Corps established SIPRE (the Snow, Ice and Permafrost Research Establishment) in 1949, which moved to Wilmette
Wilmette, Illinois
Wilmette is a village in New Trier Township, Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is located north of Chicago's downtown district and has a population of 27,651. Wilmette is considered a bedroom community in the North Shore district...

, Illinois in 1951. Its purpose was to "conduct basic and applied research in snow, ice and frozen ground." In 1953, the Corps merged the Frost Effects Laboratory and Permafrost Division of the St. Paul District to establish ACFEL (the Arctic Construction and Frost Effects Laboratory) in Boston. In 1959, SIPRE researchers participated in the establishment of Camp Century in Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 to study technical and scientific issues with a facility, based on the Greenland Ice Cap
Ice cap
An ice cap is an ice mass that covers less than 50 000 km² of land area . Masses of ice covering more than 50 000 km² are termed an ice sheet....

. Having built a new facility for the combined SIPRE and AFCEL organizations, the Corps established CRREL on 1 February 1961 in Hanover, New Hampshire,

First 25 years



During its first quarter century, CRREL researchers and staff were active in the Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

, Antarctica, Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 and the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

, providing climatic history data, addressing resource extraction issues and extending winter navigation.

Drilling through ice caps


In 1966, CRREL researchers successfully drilled through the Greenland ice cap to a depth of 4550 feet (1,386.8 m). The effort took three years, but provided a continuous ice core that represented more than 120,000 years. This extended the ability of scientists to interpret climatic history and became an early source of information about global climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

. In 1968, the same CRREL team was the first to penetrate the Antarctic ice cap, after drilling through over 7100 feet (2,164.1 m) of ice, providing a climatic record at a second location on the globe.

Facilitating Alaska North Slope oil development



The 1967 discovery of oil north of Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

’s Brooks Range
Brooks Range
The Brooks Range is a mountain range in far northern North America. It stretches from west to east across northern Alaska and into Canada's Yukon Territory, a total distance of about 1100 km . The mountains top out at over 2,700 m . The range is believed to be approximately 126 million years old...

 raised two basic questions that CRREL was positioned to answer as a consultant to participating oil companies: how to extract oil from frozen terrain, permafrost
Permafrost
In geology, permafrost, cryotic soil or permafrost soil is soil at or below the freezing point of water for two or more years. Ice is not always present, as may be in the case of nonporous bedrock, but it frequently occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of...

, or from under the perennially frozen Beaufort Sea
Beaufort Sea
The Beaufort Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, located north of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Alaska, west of Canada's Arctic islands. The sea is named after hydrographer Sir Francis Beaufort...

, and how best to transport the crude oil to the continental U.S. for refining and consumption.

CRREL staff members participated in the exploration of two transportation options, the use of an ice-breaking oil tanker, and the use of an over-land pipeline that would cross much of Alaska over regions of permafrost. As for the Beaufort Sea, CRREL researchers conducted studies of the properties and behavior of arctic sea ice
Sea ice
Sea ice is largely formed from seawater that freezes. Because the oceans consist of saltwater, this occurs below the freezing point of pure water, at about -1.8 °C ....

, which would present a problem for off-shore drilling operations. CRREL researchers were active participants in both voyages of the icebreaking oil tanker
Oil tanker
An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: the crude tanker and the product tanker. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries...

 SS Manhattan to assess the feasibility of the sea transport option. At the same time, CRREL engineers reviewed and advised the federal inspector of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline
Trans-Alaska Pipeline System
The Trans Alaska Pipeline System , includes the Trans Alaska Pipeline, 11 pump stations, several hundred miles of feeder pipelines, and the Valdez Marine Terminal. TAPS is one of the world's largest pipeline systems...

. During the construction of the pipeline, CRREL researchers studied the engineering implications of foundations and roadways over permafrost and ice.

Freshwater navigation


In the 1970s CRREL supported a Corps of Engineers initiative to extend navigation through the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 and St. Lawrence Seaway throughout the winter. They developed methods to address icing of locks
Lock (water transport)
A lock is a device for raising and lowering boats between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. The distinguishing feature of a lock is a fixed chamber in which the water level can be varied; whereas in a caisson lock, a boat lift, or on a canal inclined plane, it is...

 and the clogging of waterways with floating ice that included booms, bubblers, and coatings of locks.

Cold War role



CRREL played a role in assisting the U.S. Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 to establish and maintain a system of Distant Early Warning
Distant Early Warning Line
The Distant Early Warning Line, also known as the DEW Line or Early Warning Line, was a system of radar stations in the far northern Arctic region of Canada, with additional stations along the North Coast and Aleutian Islands of Alaska, in addition to the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland...

 (DEW) Line facilities during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 era. In 1976, a CRREL researcher was instrumental in the moving of a 10-story-high, 3,300-ton DEW Line facility on the Greenland Ice Cap from a foundation that had been compromised by the movement of the ice on which it was built to a new foundation.
In 1984, CRREL personnel completed their survey reports for 31 sites of the new North Warning System
North Warning System
The North Warning System is a joint United States and Canadian radar system for the atmospheric air defense of North America. It provides surveillance of airspace from potential incursions or attacks from across North America's polar region...

 that replaced the DEW line.

A continuing scientific exchange between CRREL and Soviet cold regions research institutions began in 1972, these included the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute
Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute
The Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, or AARI is the oldest and largest Russian research institute in the field of comprehensive studies of Arctic and Antarctica...

 in Leningrad
Leningrad
Leningrad is the former name of Saint Petersburg, Russia.Leningrad may also refer to:- Places :* Leningrad Oblast, a federal subject of Russia, around Saint Petersburg* Leningrad, Tajikistan, capital of Muminobod district in Khatlon Province...

 and Permafrost Research Institute in Yakutsk
Yakutsk
With a subarctic climate , Yakutsk is the coldest city, though not the coldest inhabited place, on Earth. Average monthly temperatures range from in July to in January. The coldest temperatures ever recorded on the planet outside Antarctica occurred in the basin of the Yana River to the northeast...

.

Second 25 years


CRREL's second 25 years saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 and a shift in funding that reduced the emphasis of direct appropriations from Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 to a greater reliance on reimbursement for research from CRREL's customers, as evidenced by the sponsorship of its technical reports. Customers funding CRREL research included various components of the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy. In addition, civilian agencies turned to CRREL for research answers, including the National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

. In addition, a variety of private organizations funded CRREL research to solve problems that they faced. CRREL's list of technical reports lists 27 topical categories, covering science and engineering.

Military research



CRREL continued to grow its capability to serve the U.S. military with programs in signal propagation that would facilitate the detection of enemy movements via infrared imaging, radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

, acoustics
Acoustics
Acoustics is the interdisciplinary science that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound. A scientist who works in the field of acoustics is an acoustician while someone working in the field of acoustics...

 or seismic sensors in any meteorological conditions. It served the environmental needs of the U.S. Army by facilitating the identification and clean-up of contaminants on training lands, due primarily to partially detonated explosives or unexploded ordinance (UXO). Other researchers addressed mobility issues with vehicles over snow and muddy terrain. CRREL researchers participated in defining tactical runway requirements for the C-17 military transport aircraft.

Civilian research


CRREL staff continued to make a mark in polar research, both in the Arctic and Antarctic. In the Arctic, CRREL researchers were active in the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean
Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean
For related articles on this topic, see List of Arctic research programsThe Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean study was a National Science Foundation-funded research project designed to quantify the heat transfer processes that occur between the ocean and the atmosphere over the course of a...

 (SHEBA) experiment conducted in the Arctic Ocean from October 1997 to October 1998 to provide polar input to global climate model
Global climate model
A General Circulation Model is a mathematical model of the general circulation of a planetary atmosphere or ocean and based on the Navier–Stokes equations on a rotating sphere with thermodynamic terms for various energy sources . These equations are the basis for complex computer programs commonly...

s. Other researchers performed traverses of Antarctica and Greenland to collect data, pertinent to global climate change. In 2010, a CRREL researcher was co-chief scientist on another icebreaker
USCGC Healy (WAGB-20)
USCGC Healy is a research icebreaker put into commission in 1999 by the United States Coast Guard.-Construction:Healy was constructed by Avondale Industries in New Orleans, Louisiana and named in honor of Captain "Hell Roaring" Michael A. Healy U.S.R.C.S. Her keel was laid on September 16, 1996...

-based scientific mission, called "Impacts of Climate Change on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment" or ICESCAPE, to determine "the impact of climate change on the biogeochemistry and ecology of the Chukchi
Chukchi Sea
Chukchi Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. It is bounded on the west by the De Long Strait, off Wrangel Island, and in the east by Point Barrow, Alaska, beyond which lies the Beaufort Sea. The Bering Strait forms its southernmost limit and connects it to the Bering Sea and the Pacific...

 and Beaufort Sea
Beaufort Sea
The Beaufort Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, located north of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Alaska, west of Canada's Arctic islands. The sea is named after hydrographer Sir Francis Beaufort...

s."

Other CRREL researchers developed ways to upgrade and maintain the research facilities of the U.S. National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

 in Antarctica, including the design and construction of a new South Pole Station and developing criteria to allow modern aircraft to land on snow runways. CRREL staff explored and helped develop a new overland supply route across the Ross Ice Shelf
Ross Ice Shelf
The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf of Antarctica . It is several hundred metres thick. The nearly vertical ice front to the open sea is more than 600 km long, and between 15 and 50 metres high above the water surface...

 over the Antarctic Range and the Antarctic ice cap to lower the cost of supplying the South Pole Station.

In its Corps of Engineers Civil Works mission, CRREL researchers developed innovative ways to avoid ice jams and databases to address the widespread occurrence of such problems. A substantial Ice Engineering Facility was built to support modeling of these problems. A Remote-Sensing and GIS (Geographical Information System) facility and organization were established to better employ the resources of satellite imagery
Satellite imagery
Satellite imagery consists of photographs of Earth or other planets made by means of artificial satellites.- History :The first images from space were taken on sub-orbital flights. The U.S-launched V-2 flight on October 24, 1946 took one image every 1.5 seconds...

 and mapping of information to address problems world-wide.. Another major facility, the Frost Effects Research Facility, was built to study problems associated with airfields and roadways, subject to freeze-thaw. An automated loading machine was acquired to simulate the passage of vehicle and aircraft tires on pavements. In building technology, researchers helped develop statistical means to identify snow loads throughout the United States and standards for measuring heat loss, roof moisture detection, and frost-protected shallow foundations.

Realignment


In October 1999, CRREL became a member of an umbrella organization of Corps of Engineers laboratories, called the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). The consolidation of seven laboratories, the Coastal and Hydraulics, Environmental, Geotechnical and Structures, and Information Technology Laboratories in Vicksburg
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Vicksburg is a city in Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is the only city in Warren County. It is located northwest of New Orleans on the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and due west of Jackson, the state capital. In 1900, 14,834 people lived in Vicksburg; in 1910, 20,814; in 1920,...

, Mississippi; the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign
Champaign, Illinois
Champaign is a city in Champaign County, Illinois, in the United States. The city is located south of Chicago, west of Indianapolis, Indiana, and 178 miles northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. Though surrounded by farm communities, Champaign is notable for sharing the campus of the University of...

, Illinois; CRREL in New Hampshire.; and the Topographic Engineering Center in Alexandria
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2009, the city had a total population of 139,966. Located along the Western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.Like the rest of northern Virginia, as well as...

, Virginia established the ERDC in four geographic sites around the country.

Remediation of trichloroethylene spills


Originally, CRREL cold-room facilities used trichloroethylene
Trichloroethylene
The chemical compound trichloroethylene is a chlorinated hydrocarbon commonly used as an industrial solvent. It is a clear non-flammable liquid with a sweet smell. It should not be confused with the similar 1,1,1-trichloroethane, which is commonly known as chlorothene.The IUPAC name is...

 (TCE) as a refrigerant. At the time there were few known environmental hazards attributed to TCE. Subsequently, TCE has been identified as a carcinogen. In 1970, an industrial accident resulted in a spill of approximately 3,000 gallons of TCE. In 1978, TCE was introduced into the ground via an experimental well. After the 1990 discovery of TCE in groundwater, CRREL embarked on a remediation plan, approved by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), with assistance from the U.S Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency and the Corps of Engineers New England Division. NHDES reports that CRREL no longer stores TCE on site and the remediation of TCE in the groundwater is subject to monitoring in test wells.

Army Research and Development


The Army Research and Development Achievement Award is provided to distinguished researchers working within the Army laboratory system. Some notable CRREL recipients were:
  • 1967 – Lyle Hanson for ice-core drilling in Greenland and Antarctica. Wilford Weeks for research on the formation and physical properties of sea ice.
  • 1970 – Guenther Frankenstein for SS Manhattan work and assistance in recovery of a downed B-52.
  • 1971 – James Hicks for fog-dispersion techniques for airfields.
  • 1976 – Pieter Hoekstra, Paul Sellmann, Steven Arcone and Allan Delaney for developing subsurface geophysical exploration techniques, related to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Malcolm Mellor for research in the excavating and blasting of snow, ice and frozen ground, allowing rapid excavation of frozen ground and for cutting ice from lock walls, and the controlled blasting of a large ice wall in Antarctica to provide a pier for the docking of supply ships.
  • 1977 - Malcolm Mellor for developing engineering principles instrumental to the design of excavating machines.
  • 1978 – Wayne Tobiasson for the moving of a 10-story-high, 3,300-ton Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line facility on the Greenland Ice Cap, saving an estimated $1.5 million.
  • 1979 – Frederick Crory for advice in the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, related to pile foundations in permafrost.
  • 1980 - Wilford Weeks for establishing a scientific basis for engineering problems pertaining to floating ice, especially sea ice.
  • 1982 – George Ashton for study of river and lake ice thermal processes, allowing control of ice formation with air bubblers and heated water discharges.
  • 1983 – Michael Ferrick for assisting NASA in predicting ice formation on the super-cooled fuel tanks of the Space Shuttle Columbia
    Space Shuttle Columbia
    Space Shuttle Columbia was the first spaceworthy Space Shuttle in NASA's orbital fleet. First launched on the STS-1 mission, the first of the Space Shuttle program, it completed 27 missions before being destroyed during re-entry on February 1, 2003 near the end of its 28th, STS-107. All seven crew...

    . Yoshisuke Nakano, Joseph Oliphant and Allan Tice for use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques to investigate water content and transport in frozen soils. David Deck for the design of a frazil ice control structure to mitigate recurrent flooding.
  • 1985 - Richard L. Berg, Edwin J. Chamberlain, Jr., David M. Cole, and Thaddeus C. Johnson for techniques that allowed the calculation of heat and moisture flux during the freezing and thawing of pavement systems.
  • 1986 - John H. Rand and Ben Hanamoto for developing a system for controlling ice on Army Corps of Engineers navigation locks.
  • 1987 - Michael G. Ferrick for developing a theory of hydraulics that described river ice breakup. Thomas F. Jenkins, Jr., and Daniel C. Leggett for a standard analytical method that determines residual explosive levels in waste water from Army ammunition plant. Malcolm Mellor, Mark F. Wait, Darryl J. Calkins, Barry A. Coutermarsh, and David A. L'Heureux for techniques to deploy ribbon bridge in rivers with an ice cover. Steven A. Arcone, Paul V. Sellman, and Allan J. Delaney for using geophysical techniques to characterize the subsurface properties of permafrost.
  • 1988 - Edwin J. Chamberlain, Jr., Iskander K. Iskander, and C. James Martel for techniques to process sewage sludge, dredged material, and sediments, and for decontamination of hazardous waste sites, using freezing. George L. Blaisdell for research on wheeled vehicles operating in snow. David S. Deck for using cooling pond water from a power generation plant to prevent formation of ice jams on rivers. Frederick C. Gernhard and Charles J. Korhonen for a device that rapidly repairs blisters on built-up roof membranes.
  • 1989 - Rachel Jordon for an analytical model to predict the surface temperature of a snow cover.
  • 1990 - Austin Kovacs and Rexford M. Morey for radar and electromagnetic induction systems that measure the thickness of sea ice and fresh water ice and their electromagnetic properties of sea ice, and an understanding of the rate of global warning.
  • 1991 - Edgar L. Andreas for furthering understanding the effects of air turbulence on optical transmission.
  • 1995 - Daniel Lawson, Steven Arcone, and Allan Delaney for ground penetrating radar techniques to characterize subsurface hazardous and toxic waste. James Welsh and George Koenig for pioneering synthetic thermal infrared scene generation capability.
  • 1996 - Donald G. Albert for theories that describe acoustic and seismic propagation in the presence of frozen ground or snow.
  • 1998 - Kathleen F. Jones for a new national standard map for design ice loading on such structures as power lines and communication towers.
  • 2001 - Robert E. Davis for advancing physical theories associated with state-of-the-ground modeling, hydrology, and remote sensing.
  • 2004 - D. Keith Wilson for a sound propagation theory and modeling that allows realistic simulations of atmospheric acoustical effects, using quasi-wavelets that describe atmospheric turbulence.
  • 2005 - D. Keith Wilson , Sandra L. Collier and David H. Martin for sound propagation theory and modeling, using time-domain theory and numerical methods for sound propagation in porous materials and moving, turbulent fluids, also for incorporation of scattering by atmospheric turbulence calculations of sound propagation.
  • 2008 - Steven Arcone, Yeohoon Koh, and Lanbo Liu for understanding radiowave propagation over terrain, using a Doppler approach to measure forward scattering of radiowaves at near grazing angles. Antonio Palazzo and Timothy Cary for development of new germplasms for use onmilitary training ranges.

Army laboratory awards


As a laboratory, CRREL received Army awards for excellence in 1975 and 1978. In 1991 and 1994 CRREL won the Army Laboratory of the Year award for excellence. In 1997 the laboratory won the overall Army Laboratory of the Year award. After joining ERDC in 1999, CRREL has been a consistent contributor of accomplishments that allowed ERDC became a frequent winner of the Army Research Laboratory of the Year award, 11 times in its first 20 years.

External links