New technology for road surface measurement: transverse profile and rut depth

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Thomas Lundberg
Thomas Wahlman
Peter Ekdahl

The condition of the national coated road network is measured annually in Sweden and Finland. The measuring technology has been unchanged over a long period of time, which has its benefits. As the measurements are performed using the same technology, trends and measurement series are retained without any disruption. In addition, the technology currently used is reliable and can be procured at a price level that has fallen rather than risen over the years. The principal area of use for condition measurement is to provide maintenance work with an objective basis for the planning of surfacing, but when it is found that current objective condition data can only explain between 40 and 75 percent (depending on class of traffic) of the action actually taken on the road network, consideration must be given to whether new condition data need to be added. The information that is lacking is thought to be information on surface damage and cracks. This requires new measuring technology.

If new technology will be adopted, for the collection of condition data, the dependability of the basic measured quantities must be ensured before new options and measured quantities are examined. This study is therefore focused only on transverse-profile measurement and measures of unevenness in the transverse direction (rut depth and ridge height).

The study has examined two of the leading new technologies that operate with scanning lasers, LCMS from Pavemetrics and PPF from Fraunhofer. The outcome of the study shows that the technology is good, and that accuracy and repeatability are comparable to the present-day point-laser systems. It is also deemed possible to retain criteria and requirements for the procurement of measurement services when the new technology is used.

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