Recent Submissions

  • Effects of Reading Text While Driving: A Driving Simulator Study

    Prevedouros, Panos; Miah, M. Mintu; Nathanail, Eftihia (2020-02)
    Although 47 US states make the use of a mobile phone while driving illegal, many people use their phone for texting and other tasks while driving. This research project summarized the large literature on distracted driving and compared major outcomes with those of our study. We focused on distraction due to reading text because this activity is most common. For this research project, we collected simulator observations of 203 professional taxi drivers (175 male, and 28 female) working at the same Honolulu taxi company, using the mid-range driving simulator VS500M by Virage. After a familiarization period, drivers were asked to read realistic text content relating to passenger pick up displayed on a 7-inch tablet affixed to the dashboard. The experimental scenario was simulated on a two-lane rural highway having a speed limit of 60 mph and medium traffic. Drivers needed to follow the lead vehicle under regular and text-reading conditions. The large sample size of this study provided a strong statistical base for driving distraction investigation on a driving simulator. The comparison between regular and text-reading conditions revealed that the drivers significantly increased their headway (20.7%), lane deviations (354%), total time of driving blind (352%), maximum duration of driving blind (87.6% per glance), driving blind incidents (170%), driving blind distance (337%) and significantly decreased lane change frequency (35.1%). There was no significant effect on braking aggressiveness while reading text. The outcomes indicate that driving performance degrades significantly by reading text while driving. Additional analysis revealed that important predictors for maximum driving blind time changes are sociodemographic characteristics, such as age and race, and past behavior attributes.
  • Operational Safety of Gravel Roads in Rural and Tribal Communities: Vulnerability to Structural Failures and GeoHazards

    Ibrahim, Ahmed; Sharma, Sunil; Kassem, Emad; Nielsen, Richard; Nasrin, Sabreena (2020-04-20)
    Of the 4.1 million miles of federal and state highways in the U.S., 2.2 million miles (or 54%) are unpaved, gravel roads. In the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, unpaved gravel roads provide critical transportation access, with some communities relying on just a single highway for access into and out of town. In such cases, these highways become a critical component of the infrastructure, and there is a need to ensure that safe access is always available to the communities. The Idaho highway database has been used to identify unpaved, gravel roads in Idaho that are critical for access to rural communities. Once identified, information regarding their existing condition has been used to assess their vulnerability and other impacts. The results of this study are considered an initial evaluation that relies on information that is readily available in the database. The project outcomes include a comprehensive literature review of unpaved roads including data produced from field visits. In addition, a questionnaire survey was sent to local jurisdictions authorities for investigating locations, reasons of road closures, and population size of the affected communities. Finally, 37 responses have been received by the research team indicating five rural communities that have experienced closures and isolation. The reasons for the closure of the unpaved roads were due to the lack of funding for snow removal, excessive dirt, unstable gravel roads, tornados, and heavy rains. The location of those communities was spread across the state of Idaho with corresponding populations range from 25 to 8,500 people.
  • A Study of overpressure in the Navarin Basin, Alaska

    Robison, Matthew; Atashbari, Vahid; Ahmadi, Mohabbat; Awoleke, Obadare (2019-12)
    The Navarin basin is a region to the west of Alaska between the Aleutian Islands and Russia. It has been identified as a potential Petroleum prospect, and exploration wells have been drilled under the ocean up to depths of 17,000 feet. The exploration of the basin was started by Russia and the United States with several exploratory wells drilled in the 1980’s. The geology of the region consists of tertiary sedimentary rock deposited during the Eocene age with mudstone and siltstone from Paleogenic deposition. When dealing with such depths, it is expected that the pressure will increase beyond the hydrostatic gradient. Overpressure, when unexpected, can cause blowouts or oil spills as well as danger to the oil production workforce. Herein, the origin of overpressure in this basin is examined using the well log and geological information, and potential mechanisms responsible for generating abnormal pressure are further discussed. In this study, extensive existing well log data are thoroughly examined and organized to facilitate the characterization of overpressure zones in the basin. As a preliminary step, well logs from eight exploratory wells in the Navarin Basin were digitized and organized as the basis of the analysis. Next, overburden pressure is determined for each applicable well in the target area by examining well log and other geological information. Then, a shale discrimination scheme is applied on the log data to differentiate clay-rich formations (that undergo mechanical compaction) from other rock types. Overpressure horizons are identified and examined through velocity, resistivity and other well logging measurements of clay-rich deposits. As such, sonic velocity vs. density and resistivity vs. density cross plots are constructed to identify signatures of different mechanisms of overpressure. Further characterization of the origin of overpressure involves examination of the tectonics, stratigraphy and source rock in order to characterize the pore pressure regime. Finally, pore pressure is calculated using Eaton (1974) and Bowers (1995) method are utilized to calculate pore pressure within the studied wells and degree of confidence in such calculations are examined.
  • Prudhoe Bay West End gas lift supply optimization

    Chou, Irwin; Dandekar, Abhijit; Ning, Samson; Zhang, Yin (2019-12)
    The western extension of Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, known collectively as Eileen West End (EWE), operates under a gas lift pressure supply constraint. This constraint is largely contributed by two factors: the extensively long gas lift supply line that stretches across the western field and the large number of production wells offtaking gas lift to stay online or enhance production. The gas lift supply line is approximately 18.5 miles long and provides gas lift to 200+ production wells. This results in a pressure drop severe enough to start hindering production on the western most side of the field as low gas lift supply pressure can cause unstable production, reduced production rate, or stop production altogether. Theory suggests that boosting the system's gas lift supply pressure will improve production from the field. In order to quantify the benefit of boosting the gas lift supply pressure and determine the most optimal way to do so, an industry proven physics based multiphase flow simulator was used to construct two models, a production system and a gas lift system. This dual integrated model approach enabled the ability to capture and predict production effects caused by changes in gas lift supply pressure and determine if boosting the pressure will be beneficial from an operator standpoint. The objective of this project is to describe how building an integrated production model can capture and quantify changes in production for a very large and complex interconnected system. Applying these types of models can help steer important operational and economic decisions to minimize risk and expense as an operator. Using the models, several scenarios were evaluated to determine and quantify the most optimal approach to address the low gas lift supply in EWE. It was determined that shutting in the least competitive wells to boost the gas lift supply pressure was the best scenario to implement for several reasons: the scenario still yielded a high production benefit, it did not have any investment requirement, and the actions could be reversed if a negative impact was realized.
  • Best practices and metrics for virtual reality user interfaces

    Byam, Jay; Chappell, Glenn; Lawlor, Orion; Metzgar, Jonathan (2019-12)
    Virtual Reality (VR) technology has become increasingly effective and accessible within the past decade [15]. With this increase in the technology’s prevalence and cultural significance, certain interaction techniques and design choices have emerged as the most widely used and recommended. This research effort employs a VR experiment in which multiple selection methods, interface placements, and navigation techniques are compared side-by-side, and performance metrics and preference data are collected. Both best practice and to-be-avoided methods are examined, and the performance and preference data is analyzed. Determinations made based on the data gathered are partly in-line with expectations according to best practices, partly inconclusive, and partly contrary to the expected performance and preference results. Results suggest that virtual laser pointers and tapping are equally recommendable selection methods for most VR experiences, hand-mounted menus produce the best results overall, and despite performance advantages, joystick navigation should be avoided in VR due to user comfort concerns.
  • DRONES FOR IMPROVING TRAFFIC SAFETY IN RITI COMMUNITIES IN WASHINGTON STATE

    Ban, Xuegang (Jeff); Abramson, Daniel; Zhang, Yiran (2020-04-04)
    Transportation and traffic safety is a primary concern in Rural, Isolated, Tribal, or Indigenous (RITI) communities in Washington (WA) State. Parallel to this, while emerging technologies (e.g., connected/autonomous vehicles, drones) have been developed and tested in addressing traffic safety issues, they are often not widely shared in RITI communities for various reasons. Compared with other technological advances, drone technologies have been rapidly improved and can be flexibly applied to multiple fields, including engineering, agriculture and disaster managements. The goal of this study is to explore and synthesize the opportunities, challenges and scenarios that drone technologies can assist to resolve traffic safety related issues and concerns in RITI communities. Through the outreach activities with the outer Pacific Coast in WA state, it is found that the principal concern within these communities are disaster management and mitigation since they are facing the threat of coastal erosion, earthquake and tsunami. Thus, the emergency management and hazard mitigation becomes the major way to further explore drone applications in the selected communities. To achieve this, we reviewed the current state of the drone technologies, conducted surveys from National Guard and coastal communities in WA, including City of Westport, South Beach Region, Grays Harbor County, Shoalwater Bay Tribe, and Quinault Indian Nation, to better understand their current needs, challenges and issues. Ultimately, recommendations of drone applications under specific scenarios are provided based upon the integration of drone technologies with community safety needs.
  • Conceptual design of a test bed for miner rescue

    Munny, Rowshon Ara Mannan; Hatfield, Michael; Wies, Richard; Bossert, Katrina (2019-08)
    In the mining industry, miners are constantly exposed to various safety and health hazards associated with often unpredictable conditions. When an accident occurs, it is difficult for the rescue team to come up with a proper plan for the rescue mission without having adequate knowledge of the situation. One possible approach to managing these hazards is to provide the rescue team with situational awareness such as real-time data regarding the environment (fire, poisonous or explosive gasses), as well as the location and physical condition of the trapped miners. Before starting the rescue mission, and in order to eliminate or reduce the dangers of exposing more humans to the explosive mining environment for information collection, a combination of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is proposed. In this project, a conceptual test bed is designed to collect one specific set of information about a trapped miner (in this case, heartrate data). This test bed collects the required data from a heart rate sensor on the trapped miner and transmits it wirelessly to a nearby UAV which will receive the data and send it back to the rescue team via a UGV.
  • Toward computer generated folk music using recurrent neural networks

    Weeden, Rohan E.; Lawlor, Orion; Chappell, Glenn; Genetti, Jon (2019-05)
    In this paper, we compare the effectiveness of two different types of Recurrent Neural Networks, fully connected and Long Short Term Memory, for modeling music compositions. We compare both the categorical accuracies of these models as well as the quality of generated compositions, and find that the model based on Long Short Term Memory is more effective in both cases. We find that the fully connected model is not capable of generating non repeating note sequences longer than a few measures, and that the Long Short Term Memory model can do significantly better in some cases.
  • Passively encouraging offline networking in small, concentrated communities through UI/UX design

    Mitchell, Addeline; Metzgar, Jonathan; Lawlor, Orion; Chappell, Glenn (2019-05)
    The goal of this project is to identify whether it is possible to encourage users to communicate with one an other face-to-face through User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design. It is well known that users can be maliciously manipulated by design elements and that concerns have been raised about the effects o f social media on interpersonal communication. The key is to find non-harmful means of guiding users to the desired action of speaking face-to-face with others. User testing for a custom web app was conducted for the purposes of this project. It is hoped that the results will provide developers with new consideration for UI and UX design.
  • Implementation of various bed load transport equations at monitoring sites along the Sagavanirktok River

    Laurio, Jenah C.; Toniolo, Horacio; Barnes, Dave; Stuefer, Svetlana (2019-05)
    In May 2015, the Sagavanirktok River in Alaska flooded, spilling over the Dalton Highway and destroying several sections of the road near the community of Deadhorse. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities made repairs to the road and funded the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Water and Environmental Research Center (WERC), to conduct a multiyear study of hydro-sedimentological conditions on the Sagavanirktok River. Personnel from the WERC installed four monitoring stations for research purposes. The first monitoring station (DSS1) is located near Deadhorse at Milepost (MP) 405 of the Dalton Highway, the second (DSS2) is located below the Ivishak River (MP 368), the third (DSS3) is located in Happy Valley (MP 335), and the fourth (DSS4) is located at MP 318. Near each monitoring station, large pits were excavated to trap bed sediment as it moves downstream. Researchers involved in the Sagavanirktok River study have been collecting bathymetry measurements from the sediment pits since fall of 2015. The following document discusses a research project that focused on bed load transport along the Sagavanirktok River at monitoring sites DSS1, DSS2, and DSS3. Monitoring site DSS4 was not included in this study due to difficulties retrieving sediment data caused by high water levels. Sediment transport volumes measured from the test pits were compared with volume estimations calculated using Acronym (a computer program), and applying the bed load equations of Meyer-Peter and Muller, Wong and Parker, Ashida and Michue, Fernandez Luque and Van Beek, Engelund and Fredsoe, the Parker fit to Einstein’s relation, Lajeunesse et al., and Wilson, with a critical Shields value ( t #) of 0.06 and 0.03. The study results showed that in all cases the bed load transport volumes measured at sites DSS2 and DSS3 were far smaller than those calculated using the bed load transport equations. For monitoring site DSS1, a few of the bed load transport equations estimated volumes were close to those measured. The Acronym program was used only for sites DSS2 and DSS3 due to difficulties creating the grain size distribution curve at DSS1. Data show that the volumes calculated by Acronym are greater than those measured at both sites. The bed load transport equations used for the project were not applicable to the Sagavanirktok River.
  • Infrared video tracking of UAVs: Guided landing in the absence of GPS signals

    Graves, Logan W.; Hatfield, Michael C.; Lawlor, Orion; Raskovic, Dejan (2019-05)
    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) use Global Positioning System (GPS) signals to determine their position for automated flight. The GPS signals require an unobstructed view of the sky in order to obtain position information. When inside without a clear view of the sky, such as in a building or mine, other methods are necessary to obtain the relative position of the UAV. For obstacle avoidance a LIDAR/SONAR system is sufficient to ensure automated flight, but for precision landing the LIDAR/SONAR system is insufficient for effectively identifying the location of the landing platform and providing flight control inputs to guide the UAV to the landing platform. This project was developed in order to solve this problem by creating a guidance system utilizing an infrared (IR) camera to track an IR LED and blue LEDs mounted on the UAV from a RaspberryPI 3 Model B+. The RaspberryPI, using OpenCV libraries, can effectively track the position of the LED lights mounted on the UAV, determine rotational and lateral corrections based on this tracking, and, using Dronekit-Python libraries, command the UAV to position itself and land on the platform of the Husky UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle).
  • The practical application of a hydraulic power recovery turbine at the Valdez Marine Terminal

    Bruns, Brendon; Dandekar, Abhijit; Heimke, David; Wies, Richard (2019-05)
    A hydraulic power recovery turbine (HPRT) is a machine designed to capture energy from the pressure differential of a fluid. The HPRT recovers energy that would otherwise be lost to entropy in flowing fluid processes. When the shaft of the HPRT is coupled to an electric generator, the electricity produced can be employed for practical purposes. At the terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) in Valdez, favorable hydraulic conditions and electrical infrastructure exists for the application of an HPRT to generate significant power. This project will study the practical application of an HPRT as a source of clean, reliable electricity to the VMT. Installation of an HPRT has the potential to reduce diesel consumption and emissions of air pollutants at the VMT.
  • Analysis of IPR curves in North Slope horizontal producers supported by waterflood and water alternating gas EOR processes

    Abel, Alan; Awoleke, Obadare; Zhang, Yin; Dandekar, Abhijit (2019-05)
    The shape and behavior of IPR curves in waterflooded reservoirs has not previously been defined despite their common use for optimization activities in such systems. This work begins to define the behavior of IPR curves in both water flood and water‐alternating‐gas EOR systems using a fine scale model of the Alpine A‐sand. The behavior of IPRs is extended to 3 additional reservoir systems with differing mobility ratios. Traditionally derived (Vogel, Fetkovich) IPR curves are found to be poor representations of well performance and are shown to lead to non‐optimal gas lift allocations in compression limited production networks. Additionally, the seemingly trivial solution to gas lift optimization in an unconstrained system is shown to be more complex than simply minimizing the bottom hole pressure of the producing well; maximized economic value is achieved at FBHPs greater than zero psi.
  • Closest pair optimization on modern hardware

    Bright, Jason; Chappell, Glenn G.; Lawlor, Orion; Hartman, Chris (2019-05)
    In this project we examine the performance of several algorithms for finding the closest pair of points out of a given set of points in a plane. We look at four algorithms, including brute force, recursive, non-recursive, and a random expected linear time for numbers of points ranging from one hundred to one billion. In our examination, we find that on average the non-recursive is the fastest, except for limited cases of 100 points for the brute force, and 32 bit spaces for the random expected linear.
  • Enabling Data-Driven Transportation Safety Improvements in Rural Alaska

    Bennett, F. Lawrence; Metzgar, Jonathan B.; Perkins, Robert A. (2019-12)
    Safety improvements require funding. A clear need must be demonstrated to secure funding. For transportation safety, data, especially data about past crashes, is the usual method of demonstrating need. However, in rural locations, such data is often not available, or is not in a form amenable to use in funding applications. This research aids rural entities, often federally recognized tribes and small villages acquire data needed for funding applications. Two aspects of work product are the development of a traffic counting application for an iPad or similar device, and a review of the data requirements of the major transportation funding agencies. The traffic-counting app, UAF Traffic, demonstrated its ability to count traffic and turning movements for cars and trucks, as well as ATVs, snow machines, pedestrians, bicycles, and dog sleds. The review of the major agencies demonstrated that all the likely funders would accept qualitative data and Road Safety Audits. However, quantitative data, if it was available, was helpful.
  • Development of Landslide Warning System

    Riad, Beshoy; Zhang, Xiong (2019-11)
    Landslides cause approximately 25 to 50 deaths and US$1 - 2 billion worth of damage in the United States annually. They can be triggered by humans or by nature. It has been widely recognized that rainfall is one of the major causes of slope instability and failure. Slope remediation and stabilization efforts can be costly. An early warning system is a suitable alternative and can save human lives. In this project, an early warning system was developed for a 40-foot-high cut slope on the island of Hawaii. To achieve the objective, subsurface investigations were performed and undisturbed samples were collected. For the purpose of unsaturated soil testing, new testing apparatuses were developed by modifying the conventional oedometer and direct shear cells. The unsaturated soil was characterized using two separate approaches and, later, the results were discussed and compared. The slope site was instrumented for the measurement of suction, water content, displacement, and precipitation. The collected climatic data along with the calibrated hydraulic parameters were used to build an infiltration-evapotranspiration numerical model. The model estimations were compared with the field measurements and showed good agreement. The verified model was used to determine the pore-water pressure distribution during and after a 500-years return storm. Later, the pore-water pressure distribution was transferred to a slope stability software and used to study the slope stability during and after the storm. Based on a 2D slope stability analysis, the slope can survive the 500-year storm with a factor of safety of 1.20. Instrument threshold values were established for water content sensors and tensiometers using a traffic-light-based trigger criterion.
  • Laboratory investigation of infiltration process of nonnewtonian fluids through porous media in a non-isothermal flow regime for effective remediation of adsorbed contaminants

    Naseer, Fawad; Misra, Debasmita; Metz, Paul; Awoleke, Obadare; Najm, Majdi Abou (2019-12)
    Contamination of soil and groundwater have serious health implications for man and environment. The overall goal of this research is to study a methodology of using nonNewtonian fluids for effective remediation of adsorbed contaminants in porous media under nonisothermal flow regimes. Non-Newtonian fluids (Guar gum and Xanthan gum solutions) provide a high viscous solution at low concentration and these fluids adjust their viscosities with applied shear rate and change in temperature. Adjustment of viscosity with an applied rate of shear is vital for contaminant remediation because non-Newtonian shear thinning fluids can penetrate to low permeability zones in subsurface by decreasing their viscosities due to high shear rates offered by low permeability zones. The application of non-Newtonian shear thinning fluids for contaminant remediation required the improvement in understanding of rheology and how the factors such as concentration, temperature and change in shear rate impacted the rheology of fluids. In order to study the rheology, we studied the changes in rheological characteristics (viscosity and contact angle) of non-Newtonian fluids of different concentrations (i.e., 0.5g/l, 1g/l, 3g/l, 6g/l and 7g/l) at different temperatures ranging from 0 ºC to 30 ºC. OFITE model 900 viscometer and Tantec contact angle meter were used to record the changes in viscosity of fluids for an applied range of shear rate (i.e., 17.02 s⁻¹ to 1021.38 s⁻¹) and contact angles, respectively, for different concentrations of non-Newtonian fluids. Understanding the flow characteristic of non-Newtonian fluids under low temperature conditions could help in developing methods to effectively remediate contaminants from soils. Results of rheological tests manifested an increase in the viscosity of both polymers with concentration and decrease in temperature. Mid (i.e., 3g/l) to high (i.e., 6g/l and 7g/l) concentrations of polymers manifested higher viscosities compared to 0.5g/l for both polymers. Flow of high viscous solutions required more force to pass through a glass-tube-bundle setup which represented a synthetic porous media to study the flow characteristic and effectiveness of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids for contaminant remediation. Low concentrations of 0.5g/l were selected for flow and remediation experiments because this concentration can flow through porous media easily without application of force. The 0.5g/l of Xanthan gum and de-ionized water were used to conduct the infiltration experiments to study the flow characteristics of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids at 0.6°C, 5°C and 19°C in synthetic porous media. Infiltration depth of both Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids would decrease with the decrease in temperature because of the change in their properties like dynamic viscosity, density and angle of contact. The result of comparison of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids showed water to be more effective in remediating a surrogate adsorbent contaminant (Dichlobenil) from the synthetic porous media at 19°C. This result was counter-intuitive to what we began with as our hypothesis. However, it was also observed later that 0.5 g/l concentration of Guar gum behaved more like a Newtonian fluid and 0.5 g/l concentration of Xanthan gum had not shown strong non-Newtonian behavior compared to higher concentrations of Xanthan gum. Hence more analysis needs to be done to determine what concentration of non-Newtonian fluid should be more effective for remediation.
  • Retrodirective phased array antenna for nanosatellites

    Long, Justin W.; Thorsen, Denise; Kegege, Obadiah; Hawkins, Joseph; Mayer, Charles (2019-12)
    This thesis presents a S-band phased array antenna for CubeSat applications. Existing state-of the-art high gain antenna systems are not well suited to the majority of CubeSats, those that fall within the 1U (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) to 3U (10 cm x 10 cm x 30 cm) size ranges and in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The system presented in this thesis is designed specifically to meet the needs of those satellites. This system is designed to fit on the 1U face (10 cm x 10 cm) of a CubeSat and requires no deployables. The use of beamforming and retrodirective algorithms reduces the pointing requirements of the antenna, easing the strict requirements that high gain antennas typically force on a CubeSat mission. Additionally, this design minimizes volume and uses low cost Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) parts. This thesis discusses the theoretical background of phased array theory and retrodirective algorithms. Analysis are presented that show the characteristics and advantages of retrodirective phased antenna systems. Preliminary trade studies and design analyses show the feasibility and expected performance of a system utilizing existing COTS parts. The preliminary analysis shows that an antenna system can be achieved with ≥8.5 dBi of gain, 27dB of transmitted signal gain, 20% Power Added Efficiency (PAE) within a 1 W to 2 W power output, and an 80° effective beamwidth. Simulation results show an example antenna array that achieves 8.14 dBi of gain and an 82° effective beamwidth. Testing results on a prototype of the front-end electronics show that with minimal calibration, the beamforming and scanning error can be reduced to 5°. The power consumption and signal gain of the electronics is also verified through testing. The CubeSat Communications Platform, a CubeSat mission funded through the Air Force Research Laboratory is in Phase A design to demonstrate this antenna system, along with other experimental payloads. This thesis includes a discussion of interface control, mission requirements, operations, and a recommended experiment sequence to test and verify the antenna system on orbit.
  • Classification and signal processing of radio backscatter from meteors

    Klemm, Jared; Thorsen, Denise; Bossert, Katrina; Collins, Richard; Mayer, Charlie (2019-12)
    Ground-based radar systems are routinely used to detect the trails of ionized particles that are formed by meteoroids falling through Earth's atmosphere. The most common use for these meteor radar systems is for atmospheric wind studies of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (80-100 km altitude). Because these meteor trails are embedded in the background winds of the middle atmosphere, atmospheric winds in that region can be measured by observing the radial velocities of the trails. There has also been a considerable amount of research over the last few decades into estimation of neutral atmospheric temperatures using the measured decay time of meteor trails. Several methods exist for estimating atmospheric temperature using meteor radar observations, but there are limitations to these approaches. This thesis focuses on examining aspects of meteor radar signal and data processing, specifically interferometry and echo classification. Interferometry using the measured signal phase differences between antennas allows for the location of meteor trails to be unambiguously determined. Classification schemes are used to identify which echoes can be modeled as underdense meteors, overdense meteors, or other potentially non-meteor echoes. Finally, based on the proposed classification scheme, this thesis examines several temperature estimation methods for both underdense and overdense echoes and discusses the current issues in this area. Preliminary results from a newly installed meteor radar at Poker Flat Research Range are also presented.
  • Development of a Computer Vision-Based Three-Dimensional Reconstruction Method for Volume-Change Measurement of Unsaturated Soils during Triaxial Testing

    Zhang, Xiong; Xia, Xiaolong (2019-10)
    Problems associated with unsaturated soils are ubiquitous in the U.S., where expansive and collapsible soils are some of the most widely distributed and costly geologic hazards. Solving these widespread geohazards requires a fundamental understanding of the constitutive behavior of unsaturated soils. In the past six decades, the suction-controlled triaxial test has been established as a standard approach to characterizing constitutive behavior for unsaturated soils. However, this type of test requires costly test equipment and time-consuming testing processes. To overcome these limitations, a photogrammetry-based method has been developed recently to measure the global and localized volume-changes of unsaturated soils during triaxial test. However, this method relies on software to detect coded targets, which often requires tedious manual correction of incorrectly coded target detection information. To address the limitation of the photogrammetry-based method, this study developed a photogrammetric computer vision-based approach for automatic target recognition and 3D reconstruction for volume-changes measurement of unsaturated soils in triaxial tests. Deep learning method was used to improve the accuracy and efficiency of coded target recognition. A photogrammetric computer vision method and ray tracing technique were then developed and validated to reconstruct the three-dimensional models of soil specimen.

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