The Danish-American company Dynatest, which is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark and has a department in Gainesville in Florida, develops and manufactures equipment to measure and evaluate the condition of roads and runways. The company has just delivered a so-called ‘heavy vehicle simulator’ to the U.S. Army.
– When the giant C17 military aircraft lands, enormous forces hit the ground. This requires a runway built for that purpose. When it comes to US defense equipment, nothing is left to chance. Everything is thoroughly tested. This also applies to the pavement on the runways that the defense has at its disposal, says Jesper Rantala, CEO of Dynatest.
The largest of its kind in the world
The heavy vehicle simulator has been nicknamed ‘Titan’, which emphasizes that it is the largest of its kind in the world. The machine is 150 feet long and weighs 125 tons, and Dynatest has spent two years developing, producing, and delivering it. Now, it is up and running at the military base in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where the U.S. Army Development Department, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) will be using it in their research.
Jeb Tingle is Senior Scientific Technical Manager at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Geotechnical and Structural Laboratory. He says:
“The Heavy Vehicle Simulator – Titan – built in partnership with Dynatest, is a critical research tool to evaluate new materials, design methods and construction techniques to optimize transportation infrastructure facilities. It has been a long process to get us where we are today, and with this new capability added to the ERDC toolkit, we will be able to discover, develop and deliver solutions to the Warfighter and nation much more quickly.”
“We are also proud to claim that the Titan has the ability to apply a dynamic impact load to simulate impact loadings from aircraft touchdown and vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. No other heavy vehicle simulator is capable of performing these critical tests. The Titan also has some first-of-their-kind features to help ERDC support military transportation needs.”
A pendulum wheel ensures better runways
With a wheel that goes back and forth, the task of the heavy vehicle simulator is to imitate the forces of a military aircraft and thereby test the strength of the runway.
“It is not possible to determine whether a runway is worn out just by looking at the surface. The pavement consists of several layers, all of which must be in good condition to ensure that the load-bearing capacity is strong enough. With the heavy vehicle simulator, you can test how 20 years of use affects the pavement in just three months. It provides an accurate and realistic picture of the condition of the runway, and in this way, you get the opportunity to develop better runways,” explains Jesper Rantala.
For more than 46 years, Dynatest has manufactured equipment and software to evaluate runways and roads. Over the many years, the company has supplied equipment to more than 70 countries and has managed to establish itself as a recognized brand in this very special industry.
“There is no doubt that we are ‘nerds’ in our field. We have a strong focus on improving details and further developing our equipment. We know that it is because of the high quality that our customers choose us. But it is a great recognition without comparison that the US military chooses us for such a large task – and of course, we are proud of that,” says Jesper Rantala, who became CEO of Dynatest in 2019, when the company became part of the Danish technology group Eltronic Group.
Facts about Titan:
Weight: 125 tons
Length: 150 feet
Width: 16 feet
Height: 17,5 feet