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EDRC awards $3M grant to MSU to support Army ground mobility research

STARKVILLE—Backed by a $3.08 million grant from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi State University will support the Army’s ground mobility research in several key areas.

Led by MSU’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, the project addresses areas such as remote sensing on autonomous vehicles, additive manufacturing, human performance and modeling and simulation development powered by the university’s High Performance Computing Collaboratory. The research will be among the first to utilize the Proving Ground, a 50-acre property recently acquired by CAVS to advance the center’s off-road autonomous vehicle research.

“This is a really exciting project with ERDC and a great continuation of our off-road autonomous mobility research, much of which is done in support of the Army,” said Clay Walden, CAVS executive director. “In addition, we are developing a digital twin of the Proving Ground, which will allow us to develop autonomous environmental sensing algorithms and then test them on the physical property. Autonomous vehicles are dependent upon being able to accurately sense their environment in order to execute a particular mission.”

The ground mobility research will involve collaboration among faculty from across MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering. The project’s technical focus areas for the project include tire and terrain interactions, powertrain modeling, sensor-physics and fusion, dust simulation, materials for design, and human fatigue. By creating advanced ground vehicle performance simulations and computing techniques, the research will create better assessments for manned and unmanned tactical vehicles.

The project is managed by ERDC’s Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory. Robert D. Moser, senior scientific technical manager for the ERDC lab, said the new partnership builds upon MSU and ERDC’s strong history of innovative research and development programs and will support the Army’s future battlefield mobility needs.

“This new effort, supported through ERDC’s Military Engineering applied research program, will develop advanced capabilities for autonomy, mobility and materials manufacturing that are strongly aligned with ERDC science and technology efforts under the Next Generation Combat Vehicle modernization priority of the Army Futures Command,” Moser said. “Our ERDC team looks forward to continuing this strong collaboration and the outcomes of the proposed joint research activities with MSU and the CAVS team.”

ERDC is the research unit of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is one of the premier engineering and scientific research organizations in the world. MSU and ERDC have a long-standing research relationship and have collaborated on dozens of projects. In 2014, the two partnered to create the Institute for Systems Engineering Research housed in Vicksburg.

“Our relationship has grown because of our commonality with high-performance computing,” Walden said. “Because we have our High Performance Computing Center here, we have researchers that are very experienced in developing highly granular physics-based codes on our HPC system. We have students here working on ERDC-funded projects who often take the next natural step and go to work for them. ERDC is a tremendous asset for the state of Mississippi, and we’re proud to supply the next generation of these researchers.”

CAVS is an interdisciplinary research center that uses state-of-the-art technology to address engineering challenges facing U.S. mobility industries. The center broadens its impact by supporting economic development and outreach activities throughout Mississippi. For more, visit www.cavs.msstate.edu.

 

Article written by James Carskadon, Mississippi State University