On the large "video
wall" of the National Transportation Research Center's (NTRC's) Operations
Center, ORNL and University of Tennessee (UT) researchers will demonstrate
to current and potential sponsors their latest computer programs for
coordinating the actions of personnel and the deliveries of supplies.
In this way, they can simulate an actual operations center or provide
In the early 1990s,
this facility could have come in handy for demonstrating the Airlift
Deployment Analysis System (ADANS). The system was developed partly
by Glen Harrison, Mike Hilliard, Cheng Liu, Ingrid Busch, and Charlie
Davis, all of the Center for Transportation Analysis (CTA) in ORNL's
Energy Division, and several UT researchers, who are all now working
at NTRC's Operations Center. ADANS is a series of scheduling algorithms
and tools that enabled the Air Mobility Command of the U.S. Air Force
to deploy troops and equipment to the Persian Gulf in 1990 and 1991
more rapidly and more efficiently than had been done before. Since then,
ADANS has been used for all major U.S. deployments, including Somalia,
Haiti, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Kosovo.
ADANS is now being
maintained by an Air Force subcontractor. However, Davis and Busch still
provide assistance as consultants, and the CTA group still helps with
improving the scheduling algorithm.
CTA, which has
provided analytical and operational support to the defense transportation
community for more than 15 years, will continue to do so at NTRC through
its Defense Transportation and Logistics Program. It is developing innovative,
practical tools and techniques that will be used to analyze and manage
military transportation and logistics systems.
Working with Robert
Russell and other staff from UT's Transportation Management and Logistics
Program and private consultants, Harrison, Hilliard, Liu, Rekah Pillai,
and Angela Sexton (Computational Physics and Engineering Division) are
evaluating the Defense Logistic Agency's (DLA) management of its supply
chain from cradle to grave. DLA's mission includes managing over four
million consumable items and processing 83% of all Department of Defense
"If the military
forces fight with it, wear it, eat it, burn it as fuel, or otherwise
use it, DLA probably provides it and then arranges for its reuse after
the consumer no longer needs it," Hilliard says. "We examine the flow
of consumables for DLA to see if they can be transported efficiently
but at lower cost. Currently, many items are sent across the country
by Federal Express or other premium shipping options, which is expensive.
"We look at how
the services acquire items by purchasing them from vendors, where they
are stored in depots, and how they are distributed to end users. The
major storage depots are in California and Pennsylvania, with 20 local
depots in between. We are studying the use of third-party logistics
providers and information technology, to minimize the cost of storage
and transportation of goods."
logistics project involving the CTA group is the development and testing
of the Ohio River Navigation Investment Model for the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers. Each year, more than 260 million tons of cargo move across
the 2400 miles of the Ohio River system. The river is economically attractive
as an alternative to rail and highway transportation of heavy bulk cargo
such as coal, grains, and building materials if travel times are reasonable.
However, as travel times increase because of congestion at the river's
locks, the additional cost of operating a tow boat and barges cuts into
the transportation savings.
barge tows head downstream from Belleville Locks and down the
Ohio River. Construction on the far side of the dam is a hydro
electric power plant. Belleville Lock and Dam is located on West
Virginia and Ohio shores and was completed in 1968.
The ORNL-UT computer model
examines the economics of shipping goods by barge on the Ohio River
over the next 70 years as barge traffic increases. The model calculates
the risks of lock closures that could result from failures in lock components,
maintenance activities, and blockages caused by, say, barge collisions
and floating logs.
"Our model will determine
what investments should be made by the Army Corps of Engineers to expand,
repair, or replace locks to maximize the flow of barge traffic and yield
maximum economic benefits to the nation," Hilliard says. "We evaluate
the economics of various options at each lock. One option is to replace
the electrical system and other components early to prevent lock failures.
Another option at the smaller locks is to double lock size to allow
a tow boat pushing 15 barges to get through without having to stop,
break apart some barges, and push only half as many through the lock
at one time. Of course, lock construction and other options, such as
shifting some cargo to trucks and trains during the work, have a cost."
The ORNL-UT model
could help the Army Corps of Engineers improve its operations on the
nation's river systems.
Beginning of Article
Center for Transportation Analysis (CTA)
Defense Logistics Agency
U.S. Army Corps