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Airfield Pavement Repair Research Earns ARA Engineer TRB Recognition

March 2011
RAPID System

ARA is continuing to pave the way for progress in the field of airfield surfaces technology.

Dr. Athar Saeed, Principal Engineer at ARA’s Engineering Science Division in Florida and Group Leader of its Aircraft Operating Surfaces Research Group, was honored earlier this year with the Transportation Research Board’s K. B. Woods Award, given annually for the best paper in the area of design and construction of transportation facilities. He co-wrote the paper with Dr. Michael Hammons of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Their paper, “Expedient Spall Repair Methods and Equipment for Airfield Pavements,” was first presented at TRB’s Annual Meeting in 2010. The paper explores the development and durability of various methods used to excavate and prepare a 2-foot² × 4-inch-deep spall for placement of a repair material that sets in 15 minutes or less. Deep spalling can generate foreign object debris which is hazardous to aircraft tires and rapid repair of existing spall damage is essential to avoid airfield traffic interruptions.

According to Dr. Saeed and Dr. Hammons, the most efficient method for spall repair excavation proved to be the cold planer, which was about 58 percent more efficient than the jackhammer and was the only method to accomplish excavating and repairing the spall in the 15-minute time period.

The January 24 award ceremony took place at the Thomas B. Deen Distinguished Lecture and Presentation of Outstanding Paper Awards during the TRB’s 90th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Saeed was presented with a certificate during a luncheon.  More than 10,000 policy-makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers and representatives from government, industry and academia attended the TRB meeting.

For more information, check out ARA’s Aircraft Operating Surfaces Research Group’s capabilities and projects.