A UNL team will lead efforts to enhance safety and security at military entry-control points, thanks to a $1 million contract through U.S. Strategic Command and the University of Nebraska’s National Strategic Research Institute.
The work, though U.S. Transportation Command, will take place at the Nebraska Transportation Center, located at UNL.
The research simulates different types of “traffic-calming” elements and validates their effectiveness in slowing or hampering a threat vehicle through physical testing. Laurence Rilett, UNL professor of civil engineering and director of the Nebraska Transportation Center, is the project’s principal investigator.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, U.S. military installations around the world have employed more security, Rilett said. The Department of Defense funds research to make the design and procedures for entry-control points safer and more efficient. The procedures include use of road design, passive and active barriers, and detection technology to slow traffic, to identify threats earlier and to ultimately mitigate a threat.
The UNL team will provide detailed information about the delays produced by specific traffic control devices, including speed bumps and curbs, and has developed computer simulations based on test vehicles interacting with the devices.
U.S. Transportation Command provides air, land and sea transportation for the defense department.
“Our faculty and staff are well-positioned to provide the expertise that (U.S. Transportation Command) requires,” Rilett said.
NSRI, a University Affiliated Research Center at NU, is one of 13 established UARCs across the nation that researches solutions that directly affect defense operations and national security.
“The results of this contract will enhance (U.S. Transportation Command’s) ability to determine the latest breaking solutions to protect and defend our controlled entry facilities nationwide,” NSRI Executive Director Bob Hinson said.