A Framework for Developing Specifications and Performing Acceptance Testing of an Inertial Profiler
Perera, Rohan W.
Elkins, Gary E.
Wiser, Larry J.
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State highway agencies (SHAs) collect profile data on their highway network using an inertial profiler, and use this data to compute the International Roughness Index (IRI) of highway segments, which are stored in a pavement management system. SHAs also use inertial profilers to obtain the smoothness of new construction to determine if the specified smoothness level has been achieved. When purchasing a new inertial profiler, a SHA has to first develop a set of specifications for the profiler. These specifications should cover all components associated with the profiling system such as the height sensors, accelerometers, distance measurement instrument, computer system, etc. The specifications should also address additional equipment that can be installed in the profiler, such as a GPS receiver, sensors to record macrotexture data etc., and requirements of the host vehicle on which the profiling system is installed, including safety equipment. The specifications have to address software requirements, and contain an acceptance testing plan, which will describe a test protocol to ensure that the constructed profiler is capable of collecting repeatable and accurate data. The Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program has been collecting profile data at test sections located in the United States and Canada for 25 years. During this time, the program has used four different types of profilers for data collection. The procedures followed in the LTPP program to specify and perform acceptance testing of profilers and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards that address inertial profilers are used in this paper to describe a framework for developing specifications for an inertial profiler and perform acceptance testing of the profiler.