Mapping, Optimization of Controls, and Reduction of Fenceline Impacts of Fugitive Dust Emissions from DoD Roads, Trails, and Training Areas: Demonstration of Tools in Practical Applications

Dr. John Gillies | Desert Research Institute



The overall objective of the proposed work for RC-201700 is to demonstrate the practical utility of the TRAKER™ technology for road dust emissions measurements to Department of Defense (DoD) installations where fugitive dust is a pollutant of concern for regulators, the public, or the installation management. Prior work funded by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) indicates that particulate matter (PM) dust emissions in arid installations are generally dominated by tracked and wheeled vehicle travel on unpaved roads and trails.

Facility-specific TRAKER™ III dust emission data will be combined with the DustTran dispersion modeling tool to demonstrate how these data and model results can be used to identify variation in source areas that contribute to exceedances of air quality PM standards and cause public relations conflicts with surrounding communities, and impact air quality in residential portions of military facilities. As part of this project, the TRAKER™ III measurement platform will be upgraded to provide improved operability and real-time data quality assurance metrics. Specific demonstration efforts will include quantifying measurement repeatability for unpaved roads, identifying the impact of temporally variable environmental factors (such as moisture, temperature, etc.) on measurement results, and using the platform to quantify efficacy of surface treatments that are in wide use at DoD facilities. The platform and the data collection practices would be standardized to allow for consistent use across all DoD facilities with fugitive dust concerns. Instructional documents and materials will be generated for technology transfer as well as the establishment of the capacity for a small business venture, Dust-Solve, LLC, to offer these services on a contractual basis to DoD installations.

Back to Top

Technology Description

The TRAKER™ III system is a third generation version of earlier platforms that were used in prior SERDP projects. It is modular, easily shipped by freight, and ideally suited for DoD application at multiple, geographically distant facilities. Dust suspended by the vehicle tires is moved into the wake cavity by fluid forces created when the rear-mounted baffle displaces air as the vehicle moves along the road. Dust laden air within the conditioned wake is sampled for PM and the georeferenced data are linked to an emission factor using empirical calibrations completed under previous funding by SERDP. The measurement method is compliant with the US EPA Other Test Method (OTM) 34 for quantifying dust emissions from paved and unpaved roads. Success will be demonstrated by the ease of TRAKERTM operability and efficiency of data conversion to results for informing management decisions.

Back to Top


The TRAKERTM III system offers a means to develop more accurate, site-specific emission factors and emission inventories of PM10 (and PM2.5) dust from unpaved roads and tracks at DoD installations. Improved accuracy of the emission inventories will provide more reliable, spatially resolved information to develop better dust management plans. Linking TRAKERTM III measurements with the DustTran model presents an opportunity to forecast and proactively manage dust emission effects from proposed testing and training activities on local and regional air quality. TRAKERTM III can also be used to optimize expenditures (money, management personnel planning time, unaccounted administrative costs) related to application of dust palliatives on unpaved roads by identifying the most effective product and application schedules (e.g., longevity, degree of vehicle impact, cost, etc.). The demonstration results and the transfer and dissemination of this information to environmental managers has the potential to allow for standardization of this approach across all DoD facilities that are engaged in fugitive dust issues. In turn, this could facilitate the comparison of approaches, successes, and scales of fugitive dust emissions among different facilities and substantially reduce the human and capital resources that are presently required.

Back to Top

Points of Contact

Principal Investigator

Dr. John Gillies

Desert Research Institute

Phone: 775-674-7035

Fax: 775-674-7060

Program Manager

Resource Conservation and Resiliency