Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) is a multidisciplinary research center wholly supported by external corporate and governmental agency funding. Research and development activities are primarily based on a broad spectrum of ground vehicle performance.
Typical activities include:
- vehicle design and operation as an integrated system,
- research in vehicle mobility,
- material properties of tracked and wheeled vehicle components,
- vehicle-terrain-human interactions, and
- noise, vibration, and sound quality.
Computer-aided engineering and modeling are used extensively. KRC provides opportunities for undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty to perform research in several areas: composite materials, finite element methods, and vehicle dynamics modeling.
KRC maintains more than 900 acres of proving grounds, including many miles of prepared test tracks. Ride and handling loops, a circular track, an ice rink, a snow-packed area, and a rugged off-road obstacle course all provide the backdrop for research in vehicle mobility.
The Institute of Snow Research, an auxiliary component of KRC, is engaged in basic and applied research into snow, ice, and cold-environment engineering. Fundamental study of ice sintering, dynamic behavior of snow, and the mechanism of ice adhesion are examples of recent work. In addition, the Institute works in several areas related to snowmobile safety, including trail grooming and layout, trail safety signs, and the effects of snowmobile track studs on public road crossings.