Randolph’s Applied Research Associates tapped to provide the Army with a new test bed to study the impact of cold weather on key transportation infrastructures
U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) announced Friday, May 14, that Applied Research Associates (ARA) of Randolph, has received an award totaling $5,237,915 from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), through the System of Systems Consortium.
This initial award gets work underway on a total contract worth more than $9 million to develop and install a transportation loading system inside the Army’s Frost Effects Research Facility (FERF) in Hanover, N.H., the country’s largest refrigerated warehouse designed to investigate, test, and evaluate the effects of extremely cold ambient and ground temperatures on different kinds of roadways and airstrips.
The transportation loading system simulates vehicle use of roadways and airstrips in extremely cold conditions to demonstrate whether and how certain kinds of pavements will stand up to heavy usage at freezing temperatures, testing that is essential for designing durable and long-lasting materials for infrastructure investments. The simulator can recreate tens of thousands of vehicle passes on a pavement in a single 24-hour period, enabling the best possible decision making about durability requirements before millions of dollars are invested in new infrastructure projects.
Leahy said, “This system, and the testing and research it leads to, will help transportation departments around the country make educated choices about the kinds of pavements they install, and will help every dollar go farther. Especially as President Biden proposes substantial investments in infrastructure to revitalize our economy, I’m proud that Vermonters were chosen to bring their expertise to the design and installation of this system that will revitalize our understanding of how to make that infrastructure go the extra mile.”
Shaheen said, “Ensuring the United States can remain competitive in extreme environments like the Arctic and enhancing our capabilities to combat the effects of colder weather due to climate change are essential to improving our military readiness.”
ARA will spend the next few months analyzing requirements and developing initial system designs. After a September 2021 preliminary design review, ARA will finalize its design and begin fabricating the system in January 2022. Final tests and acceptance of the system will occur in spring 2023, with full operations of the system beginning that summer in Hanover.