University of Mississippi Projects
1. Computational Tools for Water Security (Dr. S. Y. Wang) - Complete
The objective of this research project is to transfer the technology in the area of computational simulation of water infrastructures to DHS to strengthen its technological base for preventing, being prepared for, responding to, and planning to recover from major incidents on critical water infrastructures in general. The focus in the near-term, however, is on providing useful tools to the local homeland security personnel for them to make the best possible (compromised) decisions to meet the urgent need at the initial stages of major incidents of chemical spills in critical water infrastructures. The newly developed technologies can also be used to identify the optimal designs of new water infrastructures and/or the plans for the improvements of the existing critical water infrastructures, so that they can be less vulnerable to major hazardous incidents and better prepared for and recovered from the chemical spill incidents if they do happen.
2. Nano-Particle Reinforced Composites for Critical Infrastructure Protection (Dr. Alexander H.D. Cheng) - Active
This project investigates the use of the recent advancement in material, structure, and building technologies for the protection of critical infrastructures, which include governmental buildings, emergency response system (police station, fire house, hospital), oil and gas pipelines, power and communication transmission towers, etc., against terrorist threats, as well as natural disasters. The new structural/building technologies developed from this research can be used to improve the survivability of these structures. The findings, recommendations, and tools derived can become a part of the decision support system for local, state, tribal and regional leaders and emergency responders for better preparedness. Find project-related fact sheet information for Molecular Dynamics, Atomic Force Microscopy, Particle Dynamics, Dynamic Mechanical Analysis, Impact and Energy Absorption, AUTODYN Simulation, Component Simulation and Evacuation Simulation at the OleMiss SERRI project.
3. Specification, Validation and Verification of Imagery Products for Disaster Management and Response (Dr. Greg Easson) - Active
The goal of this project is to create a reference key designed to increase the utility of imagery products for disaster response. This reference key will describe the technical specifications for remote sensing data acquisition systems that are necessary to produce data products that address the functional requirements of the first responder community and the FEMA Essential Elements of Information.
4. Mississippi Groundwater, Surface Water, and Dam Inventory and Vulnerability Assessment (Dr. Robert Holt/Dr. Joel Kuszmaul) - Complete
Mississippi groundwater and surface water (GW/SW) resources, including shallow aquifers, streams, dams, and reservoirs, represent “key resources” and “key assets” as defined by the Interim National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) of February 2005. This project includes three interrelated tasks to: 1) inventory Mississippi GW/SW resources and dams in a GIS spatial database which can be used for vulnerability assessment and to parameterize numerical GW/SW models for additional risk assessment and modeling; 2) assess the vulnerability of these resources to various threats; and 3) provide training to state agency end users of the GIS database and vulnerability assessment tools. The GIS databases and vulnerability assessments produced in this effort will be developed in coordination with and provided to sector specific agencies, including the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Office of Homeland Security, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (including the Dam Safety Division). Database and model training will be provided to end users of these products.
5. Simulation-Based Decision Support System for Water Infrastructural Security (Dr. Mustafa Altinakar) - Active
Water infrastructures such as dams, levees, water control structures, etc. are critical. infrastructures whose incapacitation/destruction may have a serious negative impact on our nation’s security. This project focuses on the development of a new “systems approach” for carrying out threat-risk vulnerability analysis of water resources and water-related infrastructures based on robust, state-of-the-art, realistic two-dimensional (2D) numerical simulations. The proposed approach yield spatial variability of solved variables and various criteria computed by 2D numerical models, and thus eliminates the deficiencies of the currently used one-dimensional approach, which is neither sufficiently reliable nor provides enough information for a detailed damage analysis. The project also involves development of innovative spatial risk and uncertainty analysis methods and procedures making use of the rich level of spatial information provided by two-dimensional approach.
6. Structural, Material, and Geotechnical Solutions to Levee and Floodwall Construction and Retrofitting (Dr. Dr. Alexander H.D. Cheng) - Active
The extensive investigation and research of the Interagency Performance Evaluation Taskforce (IPET), as well as other teams organized by the NSF and ASCE, presented comprehensive insights for the failure mechanism of the levees and floodwalls in New Orleans areas during Hurricane Katrina. However, despite the authoritative nature of these reports, very little work was done to address the enhancement of integrity and resiliency of the nation’s hurricane and flood protection system against future disasters. This research project addresses the application of a number of creative ideas that can provide new design principles and retrofitting techniques to enhance the integrity and resiliency of these infrastructures. We will investigate four interrelated technical avenues to address the vulnerability of the hurricane protection system and to improve the overall integrity and endurance of a reconstructed system. The project is divided into four tasks: 1) Geotechnical solutions for a resilient levee and floodwall system that includes improved floodwall section design to prevent overturning; piling and anchoring to increase the resistance to sliding; clay and bentonite apron to reduce the seepage; and levee back side protection to prevent erosion caused by overtopping; 2) Structural solutions to increase the lateral stiffness of the sheet pile system for load transfer to geotechnically reinforced stations, and to increase the bending stiffness of the buried sheet piles by cross-sectional design to prevent the formation of gap in front of the floodwall; 3) Material solutions that use a new generation of lighter, stronger, and non-corrosive materials, such as polymer composite sheet pile, polymer concrete, nano particle enhanced spray-on polymer coating, to improve the performance of the system in terms of strength, durability, and resistance against sabotage; and 4) Testing and validation of the tools, technologies, and systems developed in this research.
7. Development of an Integrated Simulation Tool for Predicting Disastrous Flooding, Water Contamination, Sediment Transport and their Impacts on the Environment (Dr. Yafei Jai) - Active
This research project will focus on the development of an integrated computational tool and supporting databases for studying disasters caused by extreme flooding including 1) flood wave propagation under catastrophic conditions (dam/levee breach due to storm surge, high approaching flow, and terror attack); 2) water contamination due to industrial chemical spills, sewage/waste material, and debris resulted from flooding and hurricane impact; 3) dam/levee breaching, its associated sediment transport processes and breaching closure practices; and 4) flooding and contamination resulted environmental and ecological problems during and after the flooding. To make it possible for responders to study the overall situations as well as local details of the flooding effectively and quickly, all of the computational capabilities will be integrated into a Graphic User Interface to carry out numerical simulations, visualize the results and guide response and recovery efforts. Databases will be developed to archive the data collected to support the numerical simulations. Due to the nature of the computation tool, the data should cover a wide spectrum of information ranging from water infrastructure, hydrology, topography of potential flooding zones, contamination sources of industrial chemicals, sewage and waste treatment, inventories of high risk dam and levee structures, etc. The developed technologies can also be used for evaluating losses in vulnerable flooding zones and making plans for improvements of the high risk water infrastructures, industrial chemicals, sewage/waste plants, etc., and enhancement of emergency response and recovery plans, so that the flooding zones will be less vulnerable to major hazardous and terror attack incidents and therefore have better resilience to natural and manmade disasters. It is anticipated that the computational tool can be applied by DHS personnel and responders to make well-informed and/or science-based decisions by studying the outcomes of flooding and mitigation measure scenarios in order to minimize the potential losses of lives and property as well as the short and long-term environmental impacts. The capabilities developed in one of the current SERRI project “Computational Tools for Water Security (CTW)” will be used in this research project.
8. War Games for Flood Emergency Managers (WGFEM) (Dr. Mustafa Altinakar) - Active
The objective of this research project is to develop a prototype system that can be used by flood emergency managers of state and federal agencies for operational real-time simulation, visualization and decision making. The research aims to achieve flood simulation and visualization at unprecedented frame rates by exploiting General Purpose Graphics Processing Unit (GPGPU) technologies. The developed tool will use readily available digital elevation maps (DEMs) directly as a regular Cartesian computational mesh. The user will be given the capability to review real-time simulation results in real-time both in two dimensions, as a map, and in three dimensions with texture rendering of the terrain and the water surface. To facilitate the decision making process, the user will be given the ability to probe into simulation results, change the viewing position and angle, zoom in and out, and make changes in the environment to represent the actions taken, such as modifying the topography to represent a line of sandbags. This research should result in the development of a prototype system that can be used in a cost-effective way for desktop exercises and personal training purposes. The products of this research are expected to improve training and planning for emergency response activities relative to flood related disasters. The proposed system can thus be used directly by emergency managers and flood plain managers for operational studies before or during flood emergencies to study available options, to carry out desktop exercises with realistic simulation and visualization of the chosen scenario to train personnel.
9. Investigation of a Surge and Wave Reduction by Vegetation (Dr. Weiming Wu) - Active
The main objective of this research project is to investigate the effectiveness of wetland vegetation in mitigating hurricane and storm surges. The project will examine interactions among surge, wave and vegetation through laboratory experiments, field observations and computational simulations, and will develop and validate methods to quantify the reduction of surge and waves by various vegetation species under different storm conditions. The research will also address several high-priority research needs to support refinement of existing models and development of new models for frictional resistance and wave dissipation by vegetation. The research will also generate valuable datasets for use by coastal restoration and disaster mitigation organizations and authorities, such as US Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Agriculture, and Mississippi and Louisiana Departments of Natural Resources, as well as academic communities.
10. Socio-Economic Resilience and Dynamic Micro-Economic Analysis of Large Scale Catastrophe (Dr. Richard Forgette) - Active
Little is known about how restoration of local economies should or could be targeted to enhance restoration of civic life and economic vitality within a region after a large-scale catastrophe. This scope of this project is to conduct economic analysis of what could be termed “micro-economies” that exist at the levels of neighborhoods, wards, communities, or within specific populations or social groups. The goal would be to provide guidance and understanding to local leaders, to identify centers or nodes within the economic fabric of a community, and to enhance planning for the economic restoration of communities after large-scale disasters. The key objective of the proposed research is to develop a methodology that can assist local governments and agencies to identify and understand the relationships among the people, businesses, industries and social organizations and networks that sustain a community’s socio-economic vitality. The significance of the study is that it would be the first to integrate survey-level, social network theory into an analysis of local socio-economic resilience after a large-scale catastrophe. The research will systematically assess the dynamics of micro-economic networks across an affected population in order to understand how, which, and why disaster communities recover. This capability will also allow planners to assess different post-catastrophe recovery and resilience scenarios through a dynamic simulation analysis. The methodologies and tools developed through this research project should allow local practitioners to assess their community vulnerabilities and to anticipate economic challenges for recovery from a large-scale catastrophe.