USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Hydraulic Engineering Research Unit (HERU) scientists are involved in technology transfer activities. Technology transfer is accomplished through publications; presentations at technical meetings, workshops, and seminars; and the development of engineering tools and software. HERU scientists have collaborated with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Kansas State University (KSU) in the development of two computational tools: Water Resource Site Analysis Software (i.e. SITES); and Windows Dam Analysis Modules (i.e. WinDAM). SITES is a computational model that incorporates algorithms that evaluate the performance of vegetation and soil erosion processes in vegetated auxiliary spillways. WinDAM is an application software for use by engineers in the evaluation of the breach potential of existing embankment dams. The engineering tool, rock chute design spreadsheet, was developed by NRCS engineers as a rock chute design aid; the basis of the tool is research conducted by HERU scientists.
Click on the software image to be redirected to a downloadable version of the software
Due to the nature of our research, scientists must sometimes develop tools to improve our basic knowledge and understanding of soil erosion processes and flow measurement. One such tool was the in-situ submerged-jet testing device, developed by Dr. Greg Hanson, to evaluate the erodibility of soils in auxiliary spillways. The device along with the methodology led to a jet index characterization of soil erosion resistance. Dr. Hanson received multiple patents for this apparatus, and the methodology was accepted as a ASTM (formerly American Society of Testing and Materials) International standard procedure for determining soil erodibility. Since the development of the device and methodology, modifications to the device have been made to make it a more portable, and user friendly device. Today, academic affiliations (i.e. Baylor University, Colorado State University, Oklahoma State University, Iowa State University, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State University among others), federal partners (i.e. U.S. Corps of Engineers, U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, USDA-NRCS), engineering consultants, and international scientists (i.e. Norway, U.K., France, Canada, Vietnam among others) have use the device and methodology to characterize soils in stream beds, stream banks, irrigation canals, levees, dams, and wastewater liners. In addition, data obtained from the JET device may be used for input parameters in computational models such as WinDAM, SITES, and BSTEM (Bank Stability Toe Erosion Model). In addition, advancements were made in improved methodologies for the supercritical flow measuring flume in Walnut Gulch, Arizona and for H, HL, and HS flow measuring flumes. These advancements have been implemented in ARS experimental watersheds across the nation and have been adopted by academic institutions and others within the national and international scientific communities. To request more information about software and engineering tools developed in collaboration through our partnerships or to request drawings for manufacturing your own JET device, contact Dr. Sherry Hunt.