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Publication Number:      Date:  Autumn 1993
Issue No: Vol. 57 No. 2
Date: Autumn 1993


New Research

The following new research studies reported by the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Research and Development are sponsored in whole or in part with federal highway funds. For further details on a particular study, please contact Richard Richter, (703) 285-2134.

NCP Category A -- Highway Safety

A.5: Highway Safety Design Practices and Criteria

Title: Implement, Test, and Evaluate DYNA3D/ NIKE3D Model for Safety Analysis

Objective: This contract is an interagency agreement with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to develop and/or modify vehicle, dummy, and barrier models and to validate their performance against crash data. Existing crash data will be used where possible, and a limited number of new crash tests will be conducted. At the present time, four agencies are collaborating on this effort to modify the DYNA3D/NIKE3D finite element model developed at LLNL to accurately simulate vehicle crash impacts. The participating organizations are the: (1) Federal Highway Administration, (2) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (3) Transportation Research Board, an agency of the National Academy of Sciences, and (4) LLNL, a national defense laboratory. LLNL will apply a computer technology, previously used to simulate nuclear explosions and to simulate intercontinental ballistic missiles impacting hardened missile silos, to simulate vehicle crashes into other vehicles/roadside objects and to simulate occupants impacting vehicle interiors/belts/air bags.

The improvements in motor vehicle safety over the past few years have largely been obtained through advancements in resolving the more straightforward engineering problems associated with motor vehicle and roadway design. The safety issues remaining are far more complex and require the application of state-of-the science computer simulation technology and tools. It is envisioned that ultimately this effort will lead to broader collaboration of government, industry, and private organizations including the state DOT research agencies, the U.S. motor vehicle manufacturers, and national and local safety groups with engineering competence.

Contractor: Department of Energy

Expected Completion Date: February 1995

Estimated Cost: $940,000

NCP NCP Category -- Traffic Operations/Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems

B.1: Advanced Traffic Management Systems

Title: Detection Technology for IVHS

Objective: The objectives are to assess the state of the art in detection systems suitable for Intelligent VehicleHighway Systems (IVHS); evaluate that technology and determine under which conditions it should be used; and if current technology is not suitable, develop functional specifications for an IVHS detection system.

Contractor: Hughes Aircraft Company

Expected Completion Date: January 1994

Estimated Cost: $751,924

B.2: Advanced Traveler Information Systems

Title: Electromagnetic Compatibility Testing for IVHS Systems

Objective: The objective is to establish a resource to conduct evaluations of the electromagnetic compatibility of various proposed IVHS communications components, operating singly and in combination. Many of the issues to be investigated will be drawn from the IVHS system architecture development effort. Sophisticated simulations, anechoic chambers, and antenna test ranges will be employed to perform this testing. Testing will be performed on a task order basis.

Contractor: Institute for Telecommunications Sciences

Expected Completion Date: March 1996

Estimated Cost: $1,350,000

B.3: Commercial Vehicle Operations

Title: Traffic Operations and Control for Older Drivers -- Reimbursable Agreement

Objective: The purpose of the study is to measure the deceleration characteristics and reaction times of older drivers when faced with various levels of time-to-onset and duration of the yellow signal phase.

Contractor: U.S. Army Test and Evaluation

Expected Completion Date: May 1994

Estimated Cost: $36,500

Title: Development of a National Automatic Vehicle Identification Standard

Objective: This study will first determine the services to be provided by automatic vehicle identification and the requirements of a system to provide those services. Existing systems and standards will then be reviewed to determine how they meet these requirements. Based on this review, a proposed national standard will then be developed. Finally, a prototype system will be developed to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed standard.

Contractor: National Institute of Standards and Technology Expected

Completion Date: December 1993

Estimated Cost: $266,964

NCP Category C -- Pavements

C.6: Long-Term Pavement Performance Evaluation

Title: Electrochemical Bridge Protection

Objective: This work continues Strategy Highway Research Program study C102. Florida will purchase/fabricate a solar-powered, intermittent cathodic protection system and will install it on the Howard Franklin Bridge on I-175 over Tampa Bay. Texas will purchase/fabricate the necessary null probes to be installed on Port Isabel Causeway on Queen Isabella PR100 on Padre Island. Virginia will purchase/fabricate the necessary null probes to be installed at structures #2900 and #2901 on I-95 over the Rappahannock River in Stafford County.

Contractor: States of Florida, Texas, and Virginia

Expected Completion Date: March 1994

Estimated Cost: $60,000

NCP Category D -- Structures

D.1: Bridge Design

Title: Advanced Composite Cable-Stayed Bridge Systems Development

Objective: The objective of this project is to develop alternative bridge systems for a cable-stayed freeway crossing over I-5 at the University of California at San Diego. This detailed bridge systems development is an independent and necessary step to provide a detailed technical plan for any first application of advanced composite materials and technologies in a cable-stayed bridge structure.

Contractor: University of California

Expected Completion Date: April 1994

Estimated Cost: $1,600,000

D.3: Hydraulics and Hydrology

Title: Scour Performance of Bridges During Floods

Objective: This project extends the existing agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey to collect field data on bridge scour. Work includes planning and coordinating field data collection by state district personnel, assembling field crews to collect data during floods for areas that do not have cooperative studies, maintaining a repository of field data, and developing prediction equations from a national perspective.

Contractor: U.S. Geological Survey

Expected Completion Date: April 1998

Estimated Cost: $565,590

NCP Category E -- Materials and Operations

E.3: Geotechnology

Title: Solid Waste Processing for Engineering Use in Infrastructure Construction Materials

Objective: This study will determine the feasibility of using recycled plastic in highway construction. Environmental agencies are establishing policy to eliminate the current practice of waste disposal. At this time, municipal authorities are unable to cost-effectively reduce the amount of landfill waste. During the last several years, state highway agencies (SHAs) successfully used some waste materials in highway construction. Many SHAs are now proposing to use recycled plastics. This investigation is part of an overall effort to develop innovative highway construction materials.

Contractor: Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York

Expected Completion Date: December 1993

Estimated Cost: $25,000

Title: Development of Piezocone for Use in Centrifuge Testing and Validation of Methods for Interpreting Cone Penetration

Objective: In recent years, the Cone Penetrometer Test has proven to be extremely useful in determining in situ soil profiles and properties. However, there is a need to develop a sound theoretical model to validate empirical relations currently being used to interpret field data. This investigation will conduct the CPT in the centrifuge on soil samples and compare the results to soil properties measured by conventional laboratory tests. An experimental data base will be developed to formulate a theoretical CPT model to evaluate existing CPT interpretation methods

Contractor: National Science Foundation

Expected Completion Date: June 1994

Estimated Cost: $9,980

NCP Category H -- R&D Management and Coordination

H.2: Special Contracts or Studies

Title: Advanced Highway Research with Texas A&M Research Foundation

Objective: This is a program of research grants in six program areas of the Office of Advanced Research. The objective is to develop technologies that have long range applications in making construction materials and operations more cost-effective The following four advanced highway research studies -- with Construction Technology Laboratories, Illinois Institute of Technology, SRI International, and University of Arkansas -- are part of this program

Contractor: Texas A&M Research Foundation

Expected Completion Date: August 1994

Estimated Cost: $ 1,249,969

Title: Advanced Highway Research with Construction Technology Laboratories

Objective: The objectives of this grant agreement are to (1) identify the limitations of existing girder cross sections relative to the use of high-strength concrete, (2) examine the feasibility of modified cross sections that can be used to take advantage of the higher strength concretes that are currently available, (3) investigate the use of alternative construction systems that can be used with high-strength concrete, and (4) define existing factors that serve to limit the applications of high-strength concrete in bridge girders

Contractor: Construction Technology

Laboratories Expected Completion Date: August 1994

Estimated Cost: $49,826

Title: Advanced Highway Research with Illinois Institute of Technology

Objective: The objective of this grant agreement is to conduct field trials with a full-scale prototype road survey system that uses an innovative concept of pavement distress identification and monitoring

Contractor: Illinois Institute of Technology

Expected Completion Date: August 1994

Estimated Cost: $49,643

Title: Advanced Highway Research with SRI

International Objective: The objective of this grant agreement is to demonstrate that the fracture surface topography analysis can provide micro-fracture information that can be correlated with acoustic emission signals to improve the current ability to interpret these signals

Contractor: SRI International

Expected Completion Date: August 1994

Estimated Cost: $49,967

Title: Advanced Highway Research with University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Objective: The objective of this grant agreement is to construct a generation imager optimized for aggregate analysis

Contractor: University of Arkansas

Expected Completion Date: August 1994

Estimated Cost: $49,929




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