• Radon Concentrations in Public Facilities in Alaska

      Leonard, Shelby J.; Hawkins, Daniel B.; Tilsworth, Timothy (1987-07)
      Radon levels were measured in forty public facilities throughout Alaska. Test buildings consisted mainly of schools, DOT/PF maintenance garages, and office buildings. The project had two general goals: 1) To determine whether areas of potentially high indoor radon levels can be identified based on knowledge of the bedrock geology in the area, and 2) to determine if there is cause for concern regarding radon levels in public facilities in Alaska. Radon levels measured ranged from 0.0 to 5.2 pCi/l with a mean value of 0.6 pCi/l. No conclusive evidence was found correlating radon concentration with the geology of an area. The data suggest no urgency regarding radon levels in public facilities in Alaska, especially where mechanical ventilation and positive building pressure influence the dispersion of concentrations. However, the small size of the sample and the fact that most of the buildings sampled were mechanically ventilated does not rule out the possibility that higher radon levels may yet be found.
    • Radon Survey in the Hills Surrounding Fairbanks, Alaska

      Hawkins, Daniel B.; Leonard, Shelby J. (1987-08)
    • Rapid evaluation of the gel strength of GTL products during a prolonged trans-Alaska pipeline shutdown

      Timmcke, Michael Donovon (2002-12)
      A prolonged winter shutdown of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS) could cause the fluid in the pipeline to form a gel with sufficient strength to prevent restart. With the economic viability of a North Slope Gas-To-Liquid (GTL) plant improving, understanding the effect the addition of GTL products to TAPS will have on the gel strength of pipeline fluids is essential to quantify the risk of such a project. This study presents the development of a fast cold ramp technique to predict the gel strength of TAPS fluids. The gel strength of various blend ratios of GTL and crude oil are determined using this fast cold ramp technique and are compared to slow cold ramp gel strength tests performed at Westport Technology Center, Houston. The study found that the gel strength of TAPS fluids may be reduced and controlled by altering the final boiling point of GTL products introduced into the pipeline system.
    • Rate transient analysis and completion optimization study in Eagle Ford shale

      Borade, Chaitanya; Patil, Shirish; Inamdar, Abhijeet; Khataniar, Sanatanu (2015-08)
      Analysis of well performance data can deliver decision-making solutions regarding field development, production optimization, and reserves evaluation. Well performance analysis involves the study of the measured response of a system, the reservoir in our case, in the form of production rates and flowing pressures. The Eagle Ford shale in South Texas is one of the most prolific shale plays in the United States. However, the ultra-low permeability of the shale combined with its limited production history makes predicting ultimate recovery very difficult, especially in the early life of a well. Use of Rate Transient Analysis makes the analysis of early production data possible, which involves solving an inverse problem. Unlike the traditional decline analysis, Rate Transient Analysis requires measured production rates and flowing pressures, which were provided by an operator based in the Eagle Ford. This study is divided into two objectives. The first objective is to analyze well performance data from Eagle Ford shale gas wells provided by an operator. This analysis adopts the use of probabilistic rate transient analysis to help quantify uncertainty. With this approach, it is possible to systematically investigate the allowable parameter space based on acceptable ranges of inputs such as fracture length, matrix permeability, conductivity and well spacing. Since well spacing and reservoir boundaries were unknown, a base case with a reservoir width of 1500 feet was assumed. This analysis presents a workflow that integrates probabilistic and analytical modeling for shale gas wells in an unconventional reservoir. To validate the results between probabilistic and analytical modeling, a percent difference of less than 15% was assumed as an acceptable range for the ultimate recoverable forecasts. Understanding the effect of existing completion on the cumulative production is of great value to operators. This information helps them plan and optimize future completion designs while reducing operational costs. This study addresses the secondary objective by generating an Artificial Neural Network model. Using database from existing wells, a neural network model was successfully generated and completion effectiveness and optimization analysis was conducted. A good agreement between the predicted model output values and actual values (R² = 0.99) validated the applicability of this model. A completion optimization study showed that wells drilled in condensate-rich zones required higher proppant and liquid volumes, whereas wells in gas-rich zones required closer cluster spacing. Analysis results helped to identify wells which were either under-stimulated or over-stimulated and appropriate recommendations were made.
    • Ray tracing applications for high-frequency radar: characterizing artificial layers and background density perturbations in the ionosphere

      Theurer, Timothy E. (2012-08)
      In this thesis a numerical method of calculating ground-scattered power from the results of a ray tracing analysis is presented. The method is based on a conservation of energy approach and offers advantages over an alternative method derived from the radar equation. The improved numerical method is used to investigate two different physical phenomena by comparison with measured ground-scattered power observed by a high-frequency (HF) radar located in Kodiak, AK that is part of the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN). First, the effects of artificial electron density layers on observed ground scatter is studied through a comparison of simulated and measured power profiles. The results demonstrate that the location and spatial dimensions of artificial layers may be estimated by a comparison of the location and amplitude of simulated and measured power enhancements. Second, a Monte-Carlo simulation method is used to characterize the temporal distribution of ground-scattered power. Random processes including background electron density perturbations, polarization, noise, and sample correlation are modeled in simulation and used to estimate statistical moment profiles. The simulated statistical moment profiles are compared to measured profiles as a means of model verification and to roughly approximate background electron density perturbations in the ionosphere.
    • Rayleigh lidar studies of the Arctic middle atmosphere

      Cutler, Laura Jeanette (2000-12)
      Rayleigh lidar allows us to measure density and temperature structure of the atmosphere at heights from approximately 35 to 80 kilometers. A Rayleigh lidar was installed at Poker Flat Research Range in November of 1997 and has been operated routinely since. This thesis presents an engineering analysis of the lidar system performance and a scientific analysis of the data obtained. The engineering analysis considers the receiver and transmitter alignment of the lidar system and the signal quality of the lidar data. The scientific analysis considers the retrieval of density and temperature profiles under a range of geophysical conditions. This study uses a three-year data set that includes 38 nights of data.
    • Reaching Out to Tribal Communities: Lessons Learned and Approaches to Consider

      Awwad-Rafferty, Rula; Chang, Kevin; Brown, Helen (2019-12-31)
      When transportation safety decision-making is desired, the involvement and engagement with a community is essential. A streamlined delivery of a project or program is more likely to occur when active dialogue and an exchange of ideas occurs in advance and occurs frequently. This is particularly important in tribal communities, who value sustained relationships and represent the focus population of this study. The research team, on six separate occasions, met with local and regional tribal leaders to explore and discuss transportation safety needs within and outside tribal communities, as well as discern the recommended approaches to foster ongoing dialogue about these needs. In all cases these discussions closely correlated with existing research studies or activities; transportation safety and equity is not seen as separate from other tribal foci and community needs. Specific recommendations to consider, in no particular order, included the following: invest respectfully enough time for people to talk; tribes think long-term and consider the impact of any decision from a long-term viewpoint so an iterative process and re-sharing of ideas is critical; the power of decision is in the hands of the tribe and its members; do not lump tribes together as each tribe is sovereign and unique and every community should be expected to think differently; all tribes are unique as is the environmental and social context; to disseminate information widely and iteratively, do so when there is a large group or event; be sure to understand the Tribal governance, decision making, and organizational structure; know who is the tribal Chairman or Chairwoman; and develop an emic and etic understanding of the community.
    • Real-time comparisons of ionospheric data with outputs from the UAF eulerian parallel polar ionosphere model

      Kotipalli, Nagaprasad V. (2007-05)
      The UAF theoretical polar ionospheric model (UAF EPPIM) solves 3D equations of mass, momentum, and energy balance for multiple ion species to determine ion and electron parameters in the polar ionosphere region using a parallel numerical code on an Eulerian grid. Real time operation of the model is very important because users are interested in current space weather conditions. Real-time validation of this model with available experimental data is an important task for the following reasons. (1) Real-time validation can provide much information about the model quality and define the directions of improvement. (2) Real-time comparisons help to determine trusted intervals for the model parameters for future data assimilation tasks. In this work, we have developed an operational real-time comparisons capability which assimilates HAARP (High frequency Active Auroral Research Program) experimental data for the model validation purposes. Software has been developed to emulate Total Electron Content (TEC). Results are then compared with real-time data from HAARP. Further, we have developed a Computerized Ionospheric Tomography (ClT) model which provides ionosphere tomography images covering five different stations in Alaska along the geomagnetic latitude (50-78 degrees). Then these images are compared with real-time ionosphere tomography images obtained at the HAARP website.
    • Recent Advances in Sustainable Winter Road Operations – A Book Proposal

      Shi, Xianming (Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates, 2017-08)
      Investing in winter transportation operations is essential and beneficial to the public and the economy. The U.S. economy cannot afford the cost of shutting down highways, airports, etc., during winter weather. In the northern U.S. and other cold-climate areas, winter maintenance operations are essential to ensure the safety, mobility, and productivity of transportation systems. Agencies are continually challenged to provide a high level of service and improve safety and mobility in a fiscally and environmentally responsible manner. To this end, it is desirable to use the most recent advances in the application of materials, practices, equipment, and other technologies. Such best practices are expected to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of winter operations, to optimize material usage, and to reduce associated annual spending, corrosion, and environmental impacts. Currently, no professional societies, scientific journals, or textbooks are dedicated solely to sustainable winter road operations, and key information is scattered across a variety of disciplines. The objective of the proposed book is to summarize the best practices and recent advances in sustainable winter road operations for the purposes of education and workforce development. This book is now in press and can be cited as follows: Shi, X., Fu, L. (2017). Sustainable Winter Road Operations (Eds.). ISBN: 978-1-119-18506-2. Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Reconnaissance of the Distribution and Abundance of Schistosomatium Douthitti, a Possible Human Disease Agent in Surface Waters in Alaska

      Swartz, L.G. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1968-02)
      Studies during the summer and early fall of 1967 show that Schistosomatium douthitti, a blood fluke which may pose a health hazard to man, is well established in the surface waters and surrounding terrestrial environments in the Fairbanks area. It is almost certain that this situation exists throughout Interior Alaska. Ecologically and geologically, the lakes and ponds in which it has been found are the most abundant types in the Interior and both the specific lakes and the types which they represent are abundantly used by man. The life cycle of the worm in this area is probably sustained mostly in small mammals, especially in Microtus pennsvlvanicus but also in Clethrionomys rutilus. The infection certainly over-winters in the mammal host but probably also survives in the snail host under the ice. Although the fluke was only found in two of the nine mammalian species examined, it is probable that it occurs in other than Microtus pennsvlvanicus and Clethrionomys rutilus.
    • Recovery of rare earth elements from Alaskan coal and coal combustion products

      Gupta, Tushar; Ghosh, Tathagata; Akdogan, Guven; Bandopadhyay, Sukumar; Misra, Debasmita (2016-12)
      Owing to the monopolistic supply and rapid demand growth of Rare Earth Elements (REEs), cost effective and eco-friendly technologies for extraction of REEs from coal and coal byproducts are being widely explored. Physical separation tests, like magnetic separation, float-sink and froth flotation, were conducted at a laboratory scale, for identification and characterization of REEs in two Alaskan coal samples. The studies revealed that the samples are enriched in critical REEs, and have elevated REE concentrations as compared to average world coal estimates. The selected coal samples from Healy and Wishbone Hill regions were found to possess an overall concentration of 524 ppm and 286 ppm, respectively, of REEs in coal on ash basis and some density fractions have total REE concentrations as high as 857 ppm. Based on the characterization studies, detailed investigations were conducted to enrich the REEs and produce a concentrate for downstream extraction. A three-factor three-level Box-Behnken design for modeling and optimization of froth flotation revealed that the optimum flotation conditions for maximum REE Enrichment in the froth fraction was independent of collector dosage for both coal samples. The response variable was maximized at 4.2% solids and 32.7 ppm of frother dosage for Healy Coal sample and 10% solids and 37.9 ppm of frother dosage for Wishbone Hill Coal sample. A processing flowsheet for REE enrichment in clean coal is proposed, which aims at concentrating REEs in lower density fractions by a combination of dense medium separation and froth flotation processes. The overall REE recovery of the process is calculated to be 76% for Healy and 60% for Wishbone Hill with clean coal fractions enriched in REE concentrations above the cut-off value required for the commercial exploitation. The coals are bound to possess the potential to be used as a REE resource under favorable socio-economic and geo-political scenarios.
    • Recycled Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites Incorporated in Mortar for Improved Mechanical Performance

      Rodin, Harry; Nassiri, Somayeh; Englund, Karl; Fakron, Osama; Li, Hui (Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates, 2017-12)
      Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) recycled from retired wind turbines was implemented in mortar as a volumetric replacement of sand during the two phases of this study. In Phase I, the mechanically refined GFRP particle sizes were sieved for four size groups to find the optimum size. In Phase II, the select GFRP size group was incorporated at three different volumetric replacements of sand to identify the optimum replacement content. The mixtures were tested for compressive strength, flexural strength, toughness, and the potential for alkali-silicate reaction. Incorporation of GFRP in mortar proves promising in improving flexural strength and toughness in fiber-like shapes and 1–3% volumetric fractions.
    • The Reliability and Effectiveness of a Radar-Based Animal Detection System

      Huijser, Marcel P.; Fairbank, Elizabeth R.; Abra, Fernanda D. (Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates, 2017-09)
      This document contains data on the reliability and effectiveness of an animal detection system along U.S. Hwy 95 near Bonners Ferry, Idaho. The system uses a Doppler radar to detect large mammals (e.g., deer and elk) when they approach the highway. The system met most of the suggested minimum norms for reliability. The total time the warning signs were activated was at most 90 seconds per hour, and likely substantially less. Animal detection systems are designed to detect an approaching animal. After an animal has been detected, warning signs are activated which allow drivers to respond. Results showed that 58.1–67.9% of deer were detected sufficiently early for northbound drivers, and 70.4–85% of deer were detected sufficiently early for southbound drivers. The effect of the activated warning signs on vehicle speed was greatest when road conditions were challenging (e.g., freezing temperatures and snow- and ice-covered road surface) and when visibility was low (night). In summer, there was no measurable benefit of activated warning signs, at least not as far as vehicle speed is concerned. Depending on the conditions in autumn and winter, the activated warning signs resulted in a speed reduction of 0.69 to 4.43 miles per hour. The report includes practical recommendations for operation and maintenance of the system and suggestions for potential future research.
    • Remotely accessible hardware-in-the-loop robot simulator

      Turan, Ali (2006-08)
      In this thesis, a novel and remotely accessible hardware-in-the-loop simulator (HILS) is developed for the real-time simulation of a variety of robotic systems for on-site and remote education and research. In that sense, the thesis contributes to the first known application of the HILS concept in the field of robotics and mechatronics that is remotely accessible. The HILS set-up incorporates most of the crucial hardware that takes part in the actual mechatronics/robotics system, thus enabling a more realistic simulation of the dynamics and control than would be possible with computer simulations. Any given robotic configuration can be simulated by using the developed HILS set-up, thus enhancing the flexibility and repertoire of expensive robotics laboratories. Besides the establishment of the hardware/software of the HILS setup, the major contribution of this thesis is the developed communication method between client and server that enables remote users to perform experiments on the HILS setup at the UAF Robotics and Control Laboratory. The main communication code is written in C/C++ with the use of wxWidgets. The protocol used in this study is TCP/IP for the sequential and error-free transmission of data. The MATLAB® Engine is used to establish the link between MATLAB® and the C/C++ code. For data capturing, a code is written in Python® programming language, which is compatible with ControlDesk. Finally, animations are prepared using the V-Realm Builder for the data collected from HILS experimentation. The experimentation results are sent to remote users as mat files, jpeg files and animations. The developed communication method can be used with all systems using MATLAB® Simulink® and is not limited to use with the HILS system only. Several case studies developed remotely (via the use of the internet) are also presented in the thesis as remote lab experiment and animation examples.
    • Renewable energy development in Alaska: policy implications for the development of renewable energy for remote areas of the circumpolar Arctic

      Holdmann, Gwen Pamela; Johnson, Ronald; Peterson, Rorik; Greenberg, Joshua; Sfraga, Mike (2019-12)
      The territories that comprise the Arctic region are part of some of wealthiest and most advanced countries on the planet; yet, rural Alaska, northern Canada, the Russian Far East and Greenland--characterized by off-grid communities, regional grids, and higher degrees of energy insecurity--have more in common with the developing world than the southern regions of their own country. This thesis explains this paradox of energy development in the Circumpolar North and tackles the issue of developing renewable energy in remote areas where technical and socioeconomic barriers are significant. The primary research questions are two-fold: 1) Why did the Alaska electrical system develop as a non-integrated patchwork of regional and isolated grids? and 2) What are the major factors in Alaska that have resulted in a greater uptake of renewable energy systems for remote communities, compared to other similar places in the Arctic? This thesis demonstrates that state-building theory provides a cogent framework to understand the context of electrical build-out in the Circumpolar North. A major finding of this thesis is that the buildout of electric infrastructure in the non-Nordic countries, including Alaska, exemplifies a process of incomplete nation-building. Interconnected regional grids, where they exist, are largely due to the twin national priorities in infrastructure development in the north: extracting natural resources and enhancing national security. This thesis also draws on sociotechnical transition theory to explain why Alaska exhibits such high levels of energy innovation when compared to other similar regions across the Arctic. This research concludes that drivers such as extremely high energy costs, a highly deregulated utility market with dozens of certificated utilities, state investment in infrastructure, and modest subsidies that create a technological niche where renewable energy projects are cost-competitive at current market prices have spurred energy innovation throughout Alaska's communities, remote or otherwise. Many of the evolving technical strategies and lessons learned from renewable integration projects in Alaska's remote islanded microgrids are directly applicable to project development in other markets. Despite differences in climate and geography, lessons learned in Alaska could prove invaluable in increasing resiliency and driving down energy costs in remote communities world-wide.
    • Report of research progress 1971-1973

      MIRL (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1973)
    • Report of the Joint U.S.-Canadian Northern Civil Engineering Research Workshop

      Carlson, Robert F.; Morgenstern, N. R. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1978-03-20)
      The Joint Canadian-United States Northern Civil Engineering Research Workshop was held at the University of Alberta campus, Edmonton, Alberta on March 20 through 22, 1978. Over 40 participants from government, universities, and private practice from both the U.S. and Canada discussed northern civil engineering research for 2 1/2 days. The results of their effort are presented in this report. The nature of a report coming from spontaneous conversation will be somewhat uneven in coverage, language, and tone. However, we feel obligated to preserve the initial intent and language of the various workshop groups and each report should represent the original conclusion as nearly as possible. We acted as the principal instigators of the workshop and were ably assisted by an excellent group of workshop chairmen: Jack Clark, Lorne Gold, Charles Neill, Daniel Rogness, James Rooney, and Daniel Smith. We particularly want to acknowledge the assistance of the Boreal Institute for organizing and providing much of the administrative and secretarial support for the workshop, and the staff of the Institute of Water Resources for assisting with the organizing and publication processes. The workshop was sponsored by the National Science Foundation of the United States, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs of Canada, the Boreal Institute and Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Alberta, and the Institute of Water Resources of the University of Alaska. R. F. Carlson N. R. Morgenstern
    • Report Supplement: Thermal and Cost Analysis of Thermal Envelopes for a Small Rural School

      Zarling, John; Strandberg, James S.; Maynard and Partch; HMS, Inc. (1983-01)
    • Research in advanced nuclear development and planning

      Kuca, Michael; Perkins, Robert A.; Schnabel, William E.; Barnes, David L. (2014-12)
      This project began as an examination of small and mini nuclear power plants as an emergent energy technology capable of sustained base-load power generation in northern climates. Literature review immediately demonstrated Alaska should remain current on small and mini nuclear power plants because commercial vendors are promoting their products to state leaders as certain solutions. Is Alaska prepared to receive, operate, and decommission advanced nuclear technology as an alternative to traditional hydrocarbon power plants? The graduate committee encouraged me to facilitate discussions with Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) leadership in reference to their 2010 study on small modular reactors. Gwen Holdman, Brent Sheets, and George Roe offered great encouragement for this project and allowed me to participated in nuclear related meetings with affiliates. In fall 2013, ACEP was hosting Idaho National Laboratory guests to discuss areas of common research interest. I was invited to prepare a short presentation of this project to Dr. Steven Aumeier, Director of Center for Advanced Energy Studies and Michael Hagood, Director of Program Development. ACEP and INL later determined a mobile mini reactor design for remote terrestrial deployment represents common research interests, and INL funded three UAF student fellowships at the Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) Dr. Stephen Howe, Director of CSNR, allocated a team of six graduate fellows to explore terrestrial applications of a tungsten fuel matrix currently under design for nuclear thermal propulsion. UAF students selected for CSNR fellowship included Haley McIntyre, Alana Vilagi, and me. The team designed a Passively Operating Lead Arctic Reactor (POLAR), presented the POLAR design to INL staff and industry leaders and a subsequent poster was provided for the INE conference for Alaska Energy Leaders in October 2014. In addition to exceptional engineering experience, I was able to advance the graduate project in areas of technology, policy, economics, and energy infrastructure requirements needed to accept advanced nuclear technology. Concurrently, under a memorandum of agreement between the University of Alaska and Alaska Command ALCOM, I was able to advance the project to consider military applications of small modular reactors with ALCOM Energy Steering Group. It was in this context where I evaluated military installation energy usage in interior Alaska as compared to production of integral pressurized water reactors likely to emerge first in the commercial sector, and the ability of Alaska military to adopt this technology. As a side project, select courses of action were prepared and briefed to the commanding general of ALCOM should the nuclear option become attractive to the military. What began as an independent examination of small and mini nuclear power plants to satisfy a three-credit project requirement became an incredible collaboration among civilian, state, university, military, and industrial shareholders of the Alaska energy sector. Specific recognition for this report belongs to Haley McIntyre for her contribution to policy frameworks and as editor for this report, and Alana Vilagi for her contribution to process heat applications. The graduate committee along with ACEP leadership, INL-CSNR, and ALCOM should all be recognized as facilitators in this review of nuclear power in Alaska. The following report is presented in six chapters. The first two chapters attempt to introduce the reader to the current state of commercial nuclear energy in the nation as a pretext to developing the advanced reactor designs. Modifications to the existing framework are provided and the total cost of nuclear in Alaska is considered as opportunities and barriers to deployment are evaluated. As a conclusion, scenarios are developed to explain how this technology may contribute to our energy sector in the future. This project was unfunded, and its findings are intended to present a neutral examination of emergent nuclear design in the Alaska energy sector.
    • Research into the safety and efficiency of underground placer mining and frozen ground

      Huang, S.L. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1983-09)
      Some of the underground excavation problems encountered in arctic and subarctic environments associated with thermal disturbance are excessive settlement of ground surface and pronounced displacement around openings. This study investigated the possible links between the significant settlement. Ground temperature was found to be the most influential. An empirical equation was developed for the USBM gravel room to predict the effect of temperature on creep of frozen gravel. Separation of the roof gravel and silt was observed as steady heating process increased the gravel temperature by one degree. The temperature dependent material constants were estimated from the laboratory testings. The factors affecting the creep characteristics were temperature and applied stress level. The primary creep behavior of frozen gravel loaded under 18% of unconfined compressive strength at 25° and 29° could be predicted empirically.