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Ground penetrating radar (GPR) analysis : Phase I.
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  • Abstract:
    "The objective of this work is to evaluate the feasibility of expanding the MDT's Ground Penetrating

    Radar (GPR) program to a broader range of pavement evaluation activities. Currently, MDT uses GPR in

    conjunction with its Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) data collection program to provide layer

    thickness data for backcalculation. This program has included a review of literature and software dealing

    with pavement applications of GPR, a survey of state highway agency (SHA) use of GPR for pavement

    applications, a review of MDT's GPR program, and a review of MDT's pavement structures, environment,

    and pavement management, and rehabilitation practices. A detailed review of 47 documented studies

    shows that GPR pavement thickness measurements typically fall within 2-10% of core values for the

    bound layers. Most of these studies have used a 1.0 GHz horn antenna (vs. the 2.0 GHz antenna currently

    used by MDT). Accuracy of the unbound material is less precisely documented. The survey of SHA GPR

    practice supports the application of GPR for pavement thickness measurements—some agencies use GPR

    on a regular basis, while other use GPR on a project-specific basis. The application of GPR for measuring

    density of new AC pavement is currently being developed by Texas and Florida DOT's. Montana's

    pavement network is 97% AC, with mostly aggregate base but some areas with cement-treated base, and

    maintenance is typically carried out using chip seals. Based on an evaluation of MDT's rehabilitation and

    reconstruction practices, it appears that the GPR program can be expanded to provide useful information

    for the following applications: (a) calculation of structural number for pavement reconstruction and

    rehabilitation design; (b) insuring proper depth control for mill and fill rehabilitation, and cold in-place

    recycling; (c) improved structural capacity calculation for network level evaluation; and (d) quality

    assurance of new pavement thickness and density. In order to investigate the feasibility and value of these

    program expansions, it is recommended that a field evaluation project be designed and implemented to

    evaluate the accuracy of GPR pavement thickness (and density) data on Montana pavements, and to

    correlate these findings with the accuracy requirements of the individual applications."

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