U.S. Strategic Command has awarded a contract through the 55th Contracting Squadron on behalf of U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) to the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska. The award, valued at $1.3 million, is for the third phase of research, requiring the University of Nebraska to conduct physical testing of roadway guardrails. The aim is to ultimately provide design recommendations to improve guardrails with increased ability to contain threat vehicles.
Phase I of the project involved the evaluation of curbs and speed tables for traffic calming and security within Entry Control Facilities. It was completed successfully by University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in October 2014. Phase II is currently underway and involves traffic calming elements and roadway geometry to enhance safety and security at military entry control points. Phase III work began in January 2016 and will be conducted at the Nebraska Transportation Center (NTC) at UNL.
Further goals of the Phase III research project will be to investigate whether standard guardrails can be efficiently upgraded to provide threat mitigation in Entry Control Facilities and remain safe for motorists. This research will help to enhance safety and security at installation access control points and entry control facilities.
The research involves a team consisting of faculty and staff from the NTC at UNL and the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility (MwRSF) including Dr. Laurence R. Rilett, (PI, Civil Engineering), Dr. Ron Faller (Co-PI, Civil Engineering), Dr. John Reid (Co-PI, Mechanical and Materials Engineering), Dr. Cody Stolle (Co-PI, Mechanical and Materials Engineering) and Dr. Elizabeth Jones (Co-PI, Civil Engineering. NTC is the umbrella organization for all transportation research at the University of Nebraska. The MwRSF has an international reputation in roadside safety design. “We are excited to contribute toward the mission to improve the safety of government personnel and the protection of critical facilities located around the globe”, said Dr. Ronald Faller, MwRSF Director.
Rilett states that “since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States military installations at home and abroad have implemented additional security measures to protect military and civilian personnel from ever present terrorist threats. USTRANSCOM is funding research to make the design and operation procedures for entry control points safer and more efficient. Our faculty and staff at the NTC and the MwRSF are well positioned to provide the expertise that USTRANSCOM requires”.
USTRANSCOM is one of nine Combatant Commands within the Department of Defense (DoD). The mission of USTRANSCOM is to provide air, land and sea transportation for the DoD, both in times of peace and times of war.
NSRI Executive Director Bob Hinson, Lt Gen, USAF (ret) added that “the NSRI is a result of a partnership between U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and the University of Nebraska. To be delivering research solutions to USSTRATCOM and USTRANSCOM, two of the nine Combatant Commands within the DoD, exemplifies the capabilities we have. The results of this contract will enhance USTRANSCOM’s ability to determine the latest breaking solutions to protect and defend our controlled entry facilities, nationwide.”
The NSRI, a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), located at the University of Nebraska, is one of 13 established UARC’s across the nation, delivering relevant and timely research solutions directly impacting DoD operations and national security.
Founded in 2012, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska is the only University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) in the country dedicated to delivering solutions for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) to U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and across other federal agencies. NSRI provides research and development for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other governmental agencies in multiple mission-critical competency areas — including development of medical countermeasures to WMD; nuclear detection and forensics; consequence management; chemical and biological weapons detection; and space, cyber, and telecom law. Learn more at nsri.nebraska.edu