Chapter IV. Technology Development
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)


L. Civil Engineering and Environmental Quality

1. Scope

Technology effort in this area solves critical environmental and civil engineering problems related to training, mobilizing, deploying, and employing a force at any location at any time. The program will provide the Army with enhanced capabilities to execute mobility, countermobility, survivability and general engineering missions. It also provides the lowest possible life cycle cost, environmentally sustainable, military unique infrastructure required to project and sustain U.S. forces worldwide from CONUS or forward-presence bases.

Environmental quality subareas include Cleanup—of contaminated sites, Compliance—with all environmental laws, Pollution Prevention—to minimize Army’s use and generation of wastes, and Conservation—of our natural and cultural resources. Civil Engineering subareas include Conventional Facilities, Airfields and Pavements, Survivability and Protective Structures, and Sustainment Engineering. There is a Tri-Service Joint Engineers Management Panel to oversee, direct, and coordinate this program. The Joint Engineers consists of the flag officer engineer material developer for each Service and is currently chaired by the Air Force under a 2-year rotation assignment. Technology subpanels in each major program area ensure coordination and nonduplication of research efforts.

2. Rationale

National and international laws and treaties demand the mitigation of environmental impacts resulting from normal operations and maintenance of Army training readiness and industrial activities. Base realignment and closure actions place an added urgency on bringing our sites into compliance while placing more activity on remaining installations, thereby creating greater demands on facilities and compliance requirements. Reduced budgets and increased regulatory requirements dictate the need for new or improved technologies that reduce the costs of contaminant cleanup, treatment, and disposal; reduce the generation of hazardous materials and pollutants; enhance compliance; and maintain natural and cultural resources in a realistic state to support training and operations. Payoff for investments in environmental quality technology is realized by reducing the cost of doing business while maintaining our mission readiness without shutdown of activities, expenditure of limited resources resulting from environmental violations.

Civil engineering R&D provides the Army technologies to project and sustain U.S. Forces from CONUS and OCONUS in the defense of this nation. The payoff in this area is threefold: (1) O&M cost reductions free up dollars for mission critical activities; (2) Infrastructure improvements of Power Projection Platforms increases military readiness; and (3) Enhanced quality of life improves Army capability through increases in retention rates for soldiers and their families. Unique Army civil engineering needs arise from the characteristics of the weapons and transportation systems. The requirement to counter the effects of advanced conventional weapons and saboteur threats is not found in the private sector and, accordingly, there is no robust civilian R&D effort. The need to rapidly establish, maintain, and upgrade or retrofit facilities and transportation infrastructure within a theater of operation is unique; the private sector has no like requirement and no significant R&D investment. Our aging CONUS infrastructure (the average age of Army facilities is 35 years) requires modernization on a scale not seen elsewhere.

3. Technology Subareas

a. Environmental Quality

Goals and Time Frames

The primary thrusts of site Cleanup R&D are to reduce cost and expedite cleanup programs, while ensuring protection of human health and the environment. R&D is conducted in Characterization/Monitoring, Remediation Technologies, and Fate and Effects of environmental contaminants in all climates. Cleanup R&D will produce innovative and cost-effective site identification, assessment, characterization, advanced cleanup methods, and monitoring technologies. By 2001, advanced sensors and sampling devices will expand the capabilities and precision of these systems. Subsurface conditions will be better understood, thus increasing the efficiency of composting, UXO detection, in-situ biological treatment, passive subsurface water treatment, and improved chemical immobilization concepts and methods. Techniques will be developed to more accurately and rapidly determine the fate, transport, and effects of key DoD contaminants in soil and groundwater in all climatic conditions.

Compliance R&D will provide numerous technologies for advanced "end-of-the-pipe" control and treatment of hazardous, toxic, gaseous, liquid or solid wastes when pollution prevention is not possible. Army systems, operations, and processes will be developed to meet existing and anticipated air, water, land, and noise regulations. R&D is focused on (1) characterization of pollutant and waste behavior, (2) media specific control and treatment technologies, and (3) monitoring and assessment tools. Pollution Prevention R&D will provide the Army with alternative materials, innovative manufacturing processes, specific stockpile controls, and enhancements to routine daily activities to enable the Army to continue to operate current and future production plants as well as use its weapons systems. Overall efforts are focused on minimizing of compliance requirements through new systems and processes that prevent or minimize pollution with the attended reduction in production and product treatment costs.

Conservation R&D will provide sustainable support for realistic training and testing operation through improved understanding of natural and military operations processes affecting biological, earth, and cultural resources. R&D is focused on developing cost-effective technologies to mitigate military impacts, rehabilitate damaged resources, comply with environmental regulations, and support sustainable ecosystem management. The goal by the year 2001 is to develop an integrated modeling framework linking land capacity, land rehabilitation, and species/ecosystems impact models.

Major Technical Challenges

Major technical challenges include (1) site heterogeneity (soil, water, and climate); (2) complex mixtures of military-unique chemical compounds encountered at cleanup sites; (3) inherent complexity of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena; (4) density and opaqueness of earth media; (5) difference in acceptable risk; (7) need to understand and develop technologies that address the diversity and complexity of waste streams, composition of wastes, the energetic instability of waste streams, and the destruction or conversion of wastes and contaminants without the production of unwanted or hazardous by-products; and (8) need to adapt military ranges to changes in mission, equipment, and training; and need to understand and manage complex ecosystems and their responses to stress.

Technology Barriers: Army research is currently working to overcome technological barriers in environmental quality by developing technologies and applications such as:

b. Civil Engineering

Goals and Time Frames

The primary thrusts of the Conventional Facilities area are to develop technologies to revitalize and operate DoD's aging infrastructure, to ensure effective strategic Power Projection Platforms, and to maximize productivity of resources in acquisition, revitalization, operations, and maintenance and repair (M&R) management. The Army's $162 billion physical plant requires $5.9 billion annually to operate, maintain, and repair its aging facilities. The annual energy bill alone topped $1.5 billion, while the Backlog of Maintenance and Repair (BMAR) of facilities is $2.2 billion. The goal is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in facilities acquisition and M&R costs from 1990 levels and a 30 percent reduction from 1985 levels in energy consumption by FY 2005. Technologies developed are dual-use and critical to DoD cost reduction goals. The delivery of mission enhancing, energy efficient, and environmentally sustainable facilities with scarce resources is a major challenge. Every dollar saved from infrastructure improvements is a dollar earned for mission-critical activities.

Within Airfields and Pavements, the goal is to reduce costs by 20 percent ($72 million per year) and extend the life (5 to 10 years) of the Army’s military-unique roads, airfields, ports, and railroads by the year 2000. Potential payoff and transition opportunities include providing the U.S. military with a reliable launching platform to project mobile forces to support worldwide contingency conflicts. The Army pavements research leads the Nation. Civilian airports, 26 states, and many municipalities use the Army Airfields and Pavements Procedures.

For Survivability and Protective Structures (S&PS) the goal is to provide reliable and affordable structural hardening and camouflage, concealment and deception (CCD) that will increase survivability of facilities, equipment, and personnel against a broad spectrum of increasingly lethal modern weapon threats ranging from terrorist attack through regional conflicts and up to limited nuclear warfare. Lightweight, highly ductile, and high-strength materials with enhanced energy absorption will reduce hardening costs. Revised design and field manuals will provide greater survivability of fighting positions, fixed facilities, and retrofit of existing facilities to survive large length-to-diameter ratio penetrators and enhanced blast and thermal weapons.

The Sustainment Engineering subarea is structured to provide the civil engineering technologies required by Army for successful execution of strategic, operational, and tactical force projection, employment, and sustainment. Engineer troops will be able to support a deployed force in an austere theater with faster, lighter, less voluminous, and less manpower-intensive ways of executing mobility, countermobility, and general engineering missions. Transitions include Technical and Field Manuals, Guide Specifications, and the Army Facilities Components Systems.

Major Technical Challenges

Major technical challenges for the Conventional Facilities subareas are development of technologies for affordable automated condition assessment, integrated installation management tools, innovative revitalization technologies, and technologies to determine applicability and DoD-wide prioritization of energy conservation opportunities to reduce operations and maintenance costs. The major technology challenges for the S&PS subarea include innovative uses of lightweight, high strength, high ductility materials in protective construction and retrofit of existing structures to increase hardness at low cost and improve numerical models for accurate vulnerability assessments. The major challenges for Sustainment Engineering include methods to improve construction speed and reduce logistic requirements, methods to acquire and interpret data for infrastructure assessment, and methods to predict real time sea-state forecasts and logistics over-the-shore throughput assessments.

Army research is currently working to overcome technological barriers in civil engineering by developing:

4. Roadmap of Technology Objectives

The roadmap of technology objectives for Civil Engineering and Environmental Quality is shown in Table IV-L-1, below.

Table IV-L-1. Technical Objectives for Environmental Quality and Civil Engineering

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Table IV-L-1. Technical Objectives for Environmental Quality and Civil Engineering (cont.)

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