Journal Published Online: 01 March 2001
Volume 29, Issue 2

A Performance Evaluation of Lightweight Non-Contact Pavement Profilers



Pavement smoothness was recently identified as the most significant factor the motoring public uses to judge the quality of U.S. roadways. A new generation of lightweight profilers has been developed that have the potential of providing nearly instantaneous smoothness measurements, giving contractors a tool to identify and address process control issues promptly and cost effectively. This new technology was cooperatively evaluated by a team of Purdue University and Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) researchers to assess the performance of the devices, as well as the potential for their use in Indiana.

A successful field test was conducted using four lightweight profilers that performed five replicate measurements at each of six sites: three, hot mix asphalt (HMA) and three, portland cement concrete (PCC). Smoothness data were reported in terms of International Roughness Index (IRI) and Profile Index with 0.0 and 0.2 in. (PI-0.0 and PI-0.2) blanking bands. The field test data showed good repeatability and poor reproducibility in terms of the smoothness indices considered, the profiles generated, and the identification of must-grind locations. Estimates of precision for the devices were determined in accordance with ASTM standards. The observed precision statements as well as statistical tests of between-vendor performance suggest that the performance of the devices, especially the reproducibility, should be improved prior to implementation of their use in construction specifications.

Author Information

Hand, AJ
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Mondal, AK
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Ward, DR
Indiana Department of Transportation, Division of Research, West Lafayette, IN
Pages: 12
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JTE12243J
ISSN: 0090-3973
DOI: 10.1520/JTE12243J