Full scale instrumented testing and analysis of matting systems for airfield parking ramps and taxiways
Gartrell, Chad A.
AdvisorWhite, D. Thomas
CommitteeAnderton, L. Gary
Howard, L. Isaac
The U.S. military requires the ability to rapidly deploy troops, equipment, and materials anywhere in the world. Recent operations have brought attention to the need to utilize austere, unsurfaced, and sometimes sub-standard airfields within a theater of interest. These airfields may require additional taxiways and aprons. One option for the rapid construction of such is airfield matting systems. The focus of the work for this thesis was commercially available airfield matting systems to support large military transport aircraft, such as the C 17. Several test sections with differing strength soils were built with chosen mats tested in an elimination method, using a load cart that simulates contingency loading of one main gear of the C 17. Matting systems were evaluated based on logistical and assembly requirements, and deformation and damage sustained during traffic. A modeling effort was performed to investigate the potential of a simple model to predict the response of these matting systems under full-scale testing.