Research Projects

Investigating the Potential of Alternative Materials and Configurations for EMAS Design In Reserve

An EMAS is positioned within the runway safety area (RSA) and is comprised of an energy absorbing material that brings the aircraft to stoppage during an overrun. EMAS are currently constructed using low-density 1.21m x 1.21m (4-ft x 4-ft) variable thickness cementitious blocks. New materials, new configurations, along with implementing technology should be investigated to develop an efficient and economic EMAS design.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

The aircraft arresting system market is predicted to grow to $1,104.5 MM in 2022 (Business Wire). This monetary figure includes civilian and military operations. ACRP conducted an earlier study "Developing Improved Civil Aircraft Arresting Systems," in Report 29 in 2009 (Barsotti et al. 2009). However, Report 29 recommendations to use an aggregate foam arrestor concept were judged a patent infringement on the current cementitious block approach. Since the 2009 ACRP report, material development and technology advances have made the Report 29 obsolete and therefore a new study is warranted to economically ensure air passenger safety.
Airport operators need alternative solutions to currently used EMAS systems that are efficient and economically attractive.
References:
Barsotti, M.A., Puryear, J.M., Stevens, D.J. (2009). "Developing Improved Civil Aircraft Arresting Systems," Airport Cooperative Research Program, Report 29, Washington, D.C.

Business Wire (2017). "Aircraft Arresting System Market to Reach $1.1 Billion by 2022: Key Players are Zodiac Aerospace, Runway Safe & General Atomics – Research and Markets"

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

The study will recommend:

  • alternative materials that can be used in the current EMAS block structure configuration;
  • propose alternative schemes other than the current EMAS block structure configuration; and
  • investigate the potential for implementing smart technology into the EMAS design
Approach (Describe in general terms the steps you think are needed to achieve the objective.)

The study should include, however not be limited to:

  • summarize the existing EMAS usage within the U.S. and internationally;
  • investigate the potential growth in EMAS usage;
  • propose alternative materials including isotropic and anisotropic materials;
  • incorporate smart technology advances;
  • recommend potential alternative EMAS designs; and
  • summarize the economic benefit to airports of the recommended EMAS designs using a life-cycle cost analysis.
Cost Estimate and Backup (Provide a cost estimate and support for how you arrived at the estimate.)

The project duration is estimated at 2 years.
The research work will include:
Salary + fringe benefits for research investigators and grad students ($230,000);
tuition ($50,000);
computer software and hardware ($25,000);
experimental testing equipment for validation of the numerical modeling work ($125,000);
travel ($20,000); and
overhead ($125,000).
TOTAL ($575,000)

Related Research - List related ACRP and other industry research; describe gaps (see link to Research Roadmaps above), and describe how your idea would address these gaps. This is a critical element of a synthesis topic submission.

ACRP conducted an earlier study "Developing Improved Civil Aircraft Arresting Systems," in Report 29 in 2009. However, report recommendations to use an aggregate foam arrestor concept were judged a patent infringement on the current cementitious block approach. Since the 2009 report, material development and technology advances have made the report obsolete and therefore the need to airports for a new study is warranted.

Annotations
Idea No. 394