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Institute of Snow Research

Services Introduction About ISR    
Keweenaw Snow Paver Anti-Icing and Deicing Research Elastomeric Coatings T.R.A.C.S. Vehicle Mobility Testing

Vehicle Mobility Testing

Click images to enlarge.

The Keweenaw Research Center is involved in all aspects of mobility research from design of vehicle components and systems, to vehicle testing, to terrain modeling and manipulation. A team of experts is always available to study the tiniest component of a vehicle or model the entire system, the vehicle in the real world. Snow Terrain Vehicle
The Institute of Snow Research's involvement in mobility studies is from the side of the terrain. Terrain characterization is not limited to snow, soil scenarios are also studied, but snow is the focus of most studies. In general, vehicle mobility can be broken into 2 major categories from the terrain side. These are
  1. Adjust vehicle parameters to fit current conditions, and
  2. Adjust terrain conditions to fit a certain vehicle.
Snow Terrain Vehicle
ISR has undertaken numerous projects that cover both categories. A good example of this is the involvement in a reconnaissance traverse across parts of Antarctica on a USACRREL and NSF funded project. Russ Alger was a part of the team chosen to characterize several legs of a proposed tractor train route from McMurdo to the South Pole to support reconstruction of the South Pole Station. The scope of this study was to find a route that could be maneuvered with a chosen set of vehicles. This was done by characterizing the snow and terrain along the route and determining if the vehicles could navigate the chosen area. If there was a problem with snow strength in an area, a method to manipulate the properties of the surface was recommended. Russ Alger and Team
The KRC Snow Paver is another example of how ISR scientists have developed methods to manipulate the snow to fit a given set of vehicles. The main use of the snow paver is for snowmobile trail grooming. In this case, the vehicles, snowmobiles, are a constant. The snow paver is designed to change the snow, make it more durable, to fit these vehicles. Snow Groomer
On the other side, ISR scientists are experts in the field of characterizing snow and ice covered terrains. This characterization expertise has been used to ensure correlation between tests and to develop models for design and prediction. Measurements of the properties of a test surface are essential to making comparisons of tests after the fact and during ever changing snow and ice conditions. Russ Alger, Cold Regions Engineer

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