By Marie DarlingOctober 6, 2017
HANOVER, N.H. (Sept. 14, 2017) - Lynette Barna with the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, New Hampshire, recently hosted a technical meeting at the site that provided a colorful New England setting for their working group.
The group was composed of users of the Pavement-Transportation Computer Assisted Structural Engineering, or PCASE, software program, along with the Pavement Management System, or PAVER.
According to the Tri-Service Transportation website, https://transportation.erdc.dren.mil/pcase/, PCASE saves time by incorporating all transportation criteria into a user-friendly computer format for designing and evaluating transportation systems, including airfields, roads and parking areas. By leveraging recent information technology enhancements, PCASE allows technology transfer at far less cost and with wider distribution than was available in the past.
PAVER was developed in the 1970s to help the Department of Defense manage maintenance and repair for its vast inventory of pavements, https://transportation.erdc.dren.mil/paver/. The system uses inspection data and a pavement condition index rating from zero (failed) to 100 (excellent) for consistently describing a pavement's condition and for predicting its maintenance and repair needs many years into the future.
Those attending in Hanover and several members dialing-in represented the Army Corps of Engineers headquarters and Alaska, Tulsa, Omaha and Baltimore Districts; the Army Engineer Research and Development Center's Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory and Information Technology Laboratory; the Department of the Army Headquarters and Installation Management Command; the Federal Aviation Administration; Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center; Air Force Civil Engineering Center and Intelligent Information Technologies Corp.
"CRREL's role in PCASE is to provide guidance on criteria for seasonal variations used in pavement design and evaluation," said Barna. "CRREL has been involved in developing military criteria for pavements subjected to seasonal effects for decades. Our involvement in PCASE stems back to the early days when the software program was under development. Personally, however, I've been involved in PCASE for at least a decade. CRREL has quite a long history of involvement, with numerous researchers before me and with recent retirements I have taken a more active role. It's a great pleasure to work with the members of this technical committee and be exposed to such a great depth of expertise."
The recent meeting of the PCASE working group was an opportunity to review the training workshops held during the fiscal year and discuss issues related to the criteria.
"Currently, there is considerable effort underway to upgrade the current version of PCASE 2.09 to PCASE 7," said Barna. "This meeting provided the setting for progress reviews on this effort. The committee anticipates the forthcoming release of PCASE 7 to the user community involved in the design and evaluation of transportation infrastructure."
The CRREL location provided the group a professional meeting venue, while exposing the participants to the facilities and current research being conducted at the laboratory.
In a parting message, PCASE Program Manager George Van Steenburg stated, "Thanks for everything this week - [I] think the meeting was very successful. PCASE 7 represents a significant step forward for the pavements community. While we still have some issues to work out, we have made a great deal of progress and are on track to meet out December 2017 release date."