When I was a young engineer officer, we were introduced to the GTA 05-07-13 method of classifying bridges according to the load capacity. The method was algorithmic, and even though it was the “rapid” field classification method, it could take 4-5 minutes even for a proficient officer with an electronic calculator. If the individual were required to do arithmetic with a slide rule or by hand, it could easily take 10 to 15 minutes.
That seemed ridiculous to me in the digital age, when laptop computers were everywhere, and we had FBCB2 computers in every vehicle in 4th Infantry Division, that there wasn’t an application or something that could automate this mechanical process. Not knowing anything about programming and having other fish to fry in my first unit, I tucked it all in the back of my brain until I got to graduate school. Suddenly, I knew how to program; and, needing practice, I started creating an application on the side that would perform bridge calculations as an exercise.
Well, here we are four years later and I’ve basically finished working on it, and want to make it available to the world. Using this application, a proficient operator could reduce computation time to about 30 seconds–just enough time to type in the parameters and click ‘Calculate’.
I’m making it available for free, and open sourcing the code on SourceForge so anyone can see how it works. Download it from SourceForge now.
Any Sappers, Seabees, Red Horse, USMC engineers, or even engineers our English-speaking allies–if you’re interested in software with even more capability, contact me. I have the capability to code up calculators for:
- bridge classification using the analytical method or correlation of curves
- nonstandard military fixed bridge design
- vehicle MLC rating
- concrete formwork
- culvert and open channel design
- support bridges (MGB/HDSB)
- panel bridges (Bailey, Mabey-Johnson)
- assault float bridges
- dozer/ACE blade teams,
- flexible pavement design,
- concrete mix design
- and basically any calculation in the engineer field manuals that uses step-by-step computation.
Additionally, while it would take a little bit longer, I’m capable of converting this app (or any of the above) into an Android or iOS app.