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May/June 2010
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Profilograph Simulation

Since the appearance of the California-type model around 1940, the profilograph has been a popular device used for quality control in the construction of pavements. Both roadway and airfield landing agencies have adopted roughness indexes computed from profilograph-derived measurements as a level of construction quality.

Emerging high speed inertial profilers can quickly collect pavement profiles and, using computer technology, can simulate profilograph responses.

ASTM International Committee E17 on Vehicle-Pavement Systems is currently developing a proposed new standard for such simulation: WK26262, Specification for Profilograph Simulation for Airfield Pavements. The proposed standard is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E17.33 on Methodology for Analyzing Pavement Roughness.

According to Injun Song, research engineer, SRA International Inc., and an ASTM E17 member, WK26262 will contain procedures for simulations based on current programs already in use by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Federal Highway Administration.

“This proposed standard will provide a methodology to bring the basic philosophies of smoothness or rideability issues to an easier and more practical way to evaluate,” says Song. “Any computer programmer or engineer who wants to add or create the simulation procedures in his or her program will be able to follow this standard to expect the same simulation results.”

Song says that users who do not own a profilograph would be able to receive detailed information regarding wheel spacing and size and sample spacing from the simulations described in the proposed standard.

The proposed standard will aid:

  • Contractors collecting pavement surface profiles for both construction quality assurance and monitoring pavement conditions;
  • Agencies in airfield and/or highway pavement development under the U.S. Department of Transportation who want to simulate profilograph profiles using profiles from inertial profilers; and
  • Computer programmers or engineers who want to add or create the simulation function in their programs.

All interested parties are invited to participate in the development of WK26262.

CONTACT

Technical Information: Injun Song, SRA International Inc., Linwood, N.J.

Phone: 609-407-2158, ext. 173

ASTM Staff: Daniel Smith

Phone: 610-832-9727