Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Brigham A. Moore, PhD


In the 2018 United States National Defense Strategy, the Department of Defense mandated that forces are to be more dynamic and decentralized. The Arctic region was a key topic that was addressed. This means that in the future, it is possible that personnel will need to operate in the Arctic, away from the standard built up infrastructure, to enhance the capabilities of the Air Force and enable the power projection required for mission execution. When establishing a new location, water systems are one of the first requirements for setting up a temporary base infrastructure. However, the Air Force’s current expeditionary water distribution system was not designed for use in an Arctic environment. Isolated Alaskan communities are challenged with similar issues such as locating a viable source of water, developing a water distribution system that will meet year-round requirements, and the protection and maintenance of the system. This study will discuss a preliminary site selection method and develop a thermal model, which will be applied to an empirical scenario with the goal of supporting a 500-person camp for validation. Variations in the amount of polyurethane insulation will be evaluated to determine optimal thicknesses for each segment of the distribution system. Based on the results, the mancamp can make an informed decision if the BEAR water distribution system with selected freeze protection methods has the capability to support their population and mission requirements. The thermal model suggests that the discussed water distribution system is a viable method of providing potable water in 30°F to -60°F, with some heat addition in the coldest temperatures. These decision support models can be utilized to help make strategic and tactical decisions regarding water in the Arctic.

AFIT Designator



Approved for public release: 88ABW-2023-0426

A 12-month embargo was observed.