Dust Suppression through Active Control of Vehicle Surfaces

Vehicle wakes result in the entrainment of dust and result in the injection of particulates high into the atmosphere. If the vehicle wake can be minimized in size, less entrainment will take place. A smaller wake will also decrease vehicle drag with the subsequent decrease in the consumption of fuel. The proposed research project will involve the development of novel control surfaces to be placed on the downstream portion of a vehicle. A pressure transducer located on the back of the vehicle will provide feedback on the strength of the wake. A novel control mechanism will be used to maximize the downstream pressure by adjusting the control surfaces. To test this concept, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) wind tunnel will be used to measure the performance of the control algorithm on a scale model of a vehicle trailer. Dimensional similitude limits the results to low vehicle velocities, but the concept can be verified in the wind tunnel and optimal placement of the control surfaces can be found. Fugitive dust presents a significant health problem in southern Nevada where off-road recreational and construction vehicles can generate large plumes of caliche and surface soils high into the air. In addition to producing a visibility hazard, settling dust with small diameter (PM 10) can settle in human lungs producing health problems and evading the body's ability to remove them. We propose to combine computer-activated control surfaces with control software to reduce the size of vehicle wakes and the subsequent injection of fugitive dust into the atmosphere. If successful, vehicle wake management will reduce the production of dust in the Las Vegas Valley with the add benefit of reducing vehicle drag and fuel costs

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Final report can be found at http://nutc.unlv.edu/ProjectsInfo/Dust/Dust.pdf


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada

    600 S Grand Central Pkwy
    Suite 350
    Las Vegas, NV  United States  89106
  • Performing Organizations:

    Transportation Research Center

    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    4505 Maryland Parkway, MS 4007
    Las Vegas, NV  United States  89154
  • Principal Investigators:

    O'Brien, Mike

    Lowe, Daniel

    Wilcox, Trevor

    Culbreth, William

  • Start Date: 20070901
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20081231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 18613

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01468415
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0034
  • Files: UTC, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:50PM