Intelligent Pavement Assessment Vehicle (iPAVe)

ARRB Systems has developed the first fully integrated road surface and sub-surface condition assessment system, providing functional and structural data at highway speeds.

Road agencies across the globe have similar issues in relation to managing their networks with the major question being: How long will our pavements last and what is the optimal maintenance and rehabilitation strategy?  Determining a reliable remaining life of a pavement requires assessment of both the structural and functional condition.

Methods of measuring pavement deterioration have primarily focused on surface condition. For many decades structural condition assessment was based on stationary or slow-moving devices which could cause hazardous situations in normal traffic. Structural condition surveys using these devices, therefore, became less common, eliminating vital information about pavement structural life.  Combining the two assessment techniques have, until today, been impossible. ARRB Systems iPAVe technology changes this forever.

Having a complete dataset, incorporating information of the pavement above and below the surface, enables the road asset manager to better understand its condition. This dramatically improves decision making in managing the road network. Road agencies in North America, Europe, South Africa, China, Australia and New Zealand are now using iPAVe to collect millions of deflection basin results yearly, along with associated synchronized and simultaneous collected surface condition data.

The iPAVe collects all of the following information:

■ Pavement surface condition, including:
– Cracking
– Roughness (IRI)
– Texture (MPD and SMTD)
– Rutting
■ Continuous pavement deflection (Traffic Speed Deflectometer)
■ Geometry (slope, crossfall, gradients)
■ Spatial location (GNSS)
■ Asset inventory imaging

The iPAVe provides continuous pavement deflection profiles, from which bearing capacity indices can be derived and pavement fatigue can be estimated. The high accuracy and resolution of the iPAVe data enable engineers to pinpoint areas where the pavement structure may be subject to failure, providing an additional dimension for pavement evaluation.

The below image shows a newly paved surface on a 16-mile sample of a road. A thin overlay was completed along the first 12 miles, due to high levels of roughness, rutting and cracking. As is plainly evident, there are two underlying pavement structural problem areas in the pavement. This will lead to premature failure, as no structural information was used to evaluate the overall condition of the pavement. Had these sections been structurally evaluated, full rehabilitation could have been performed in these areas prior to the overlay, to provide a more effective treatment solution.

Interestingly enough, the section on the right did not receive the overlay treatment because the surface distress had already progressed to the point where the structural deficiencies were obvious at the surface. While the potential cost savings should be evident, it would be very interesting to calculate how much money could be saved by conducting a more comprehensive eva luation, and avoiding errant treatments and premature failures.

The iPAVe enables pavement engineers, for the first time, to make truly informed decisions on the type of rehabilitation and surfacing treatments required. It really is a revolution in pavement management with fully comprehensive datasets collected at costs not much greater than current pavement condition surveys.

iPAVe Brochure