Applied climatology guidance for development of Army materiel for world wide use

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010: 4:30 PM
B212 (GWCC)
Charles C. Ryerson, Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH; and L. Spears, G. Stullenbarger, and L. Page

Presentation PDF (357.7 kB)

The Army operates principally at and near the terrestrial surface. Mission success, safety, readiness, national security, and effectiveness of taxpayer investment require that equipment performs reliably and durably. Army Regulation 70-38 (AR70-38), Research, Development, Test and Evaluation of Materiel for Extreme Climatic Conditions, has defined, for the last 30-years, diurnal ranges of operational temperature, humidity, and solar radiation conditions, and storage and transit temperature and humidity conditions, that Army material must withstand in seven climate design types. Recent and current military operations have demonstrated, however, that diurnal atmospheric conditions alone are often inadequate standards for materiel design. The approach is inadequate to fully describe the complete environment at any location, and as a result, materiel has failed due to the synergistic effects of the local environment when the atmosphere and terrain interact. As a result, a new AR70-38 has been drafted, entitled Research, Development, Test and Evaluation of Materiel for World Wide Use, to address these shortcomings, which is currently being staffed through the Army.

The new AR70-38 draft classifies land masses into areas of intrinsic similarity at different geospatial scales based, fundamentally, on climate and secondarily on other environmental characteristics. The new methodology provides a standardized method for directly comparing areas worldwide, and the classification system has multiple levels which provide for the identification of environmental factors found beyond climatic factors. At the highest level, four broad world climate regions, or Global Military Operating Environments (GMOE) are defined; Polar, Humid Temperate, Humid Tropical and Dry, differentiated by temperature and precipitation. Nineteen Military Operational Areas (MOE) subdivide the GMOEs to identify environmental factors such as precipitation, visibility, wind, landforms, soil and rock cover, dust, hydrology, freeze-thaw, snow cover, vegetation, and macro- and micro-biologic factors. The document is designed to educate and to guide decision-makers so that they can write more effective operational requirements documents and identify technical, operational, and systems deficiencies prior to fielding.

The new AR70-38 also introduces a risk management methodology that assures military equipment will be exposed to the atmospheric and terrestrial operating conditions during research, development, test and evaluation (RDTE) that have the greatest potential impact on performance. This requires an understanding of the potential operating environments, the environmental factors within those environments, and the effects of these factors on performance of military equipment and operations. This paper explains the overall concepts of the new approach and presents a risk management methodology. This risk management methodology will be used by decision-makers and the RDTE community to assure that military equipment will be exposed to the operating conditions having the greatest potential impact on performance.