Optimization of a pavement instrumentation plan for a full-scale test road : evaluation.
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Optimization of a pavement instrumentation plan for a full-scale test road : evaluation.

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  • English

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    • Abstract:
      A 2.5-mile, concrete test road is planned for construction by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in

      2016. To support the goals of the test road, a comprehensive instrumentation system is required to provide

      reliable data over a long period. The unique challenges posed by the geographical location and configuration of

      the test pavement require sensors that can employ long sensor cables without compromising data quality and

      have limited susceptibility to damage from lightning strike. The research conducted for this report investigated

      the availability and performance of traditional and emerging instrumentation approaches for the embedded

      measurement of concrete strains and temperatures. Fiber optic sensors possess features that overcome the

      specific challenges of the proposed test pavement and were chosen for experimental evaluation alongside the

      copper-based sensors that have been routinely employed by the State Materials Office (SMO). The candidate

      strain sensors were initially evaluated in a series of non-embedded tests to assess their measurement capabilities,

      noise susceptibility, temperature sensitivity, and ease of installation and use. A small concrete test slab was then

      constructed for longer-term evaluation of the various sensor types in conditions similar to those of the proposed

      test road. The duration of the test slab experiments (several weeks) exposed the slab to environmentally-induced

      loads and dynamic wheel loads imposed by a Heavy Vehicle Simulator. The resulting strain and temperature

      measurements were analyzed to assess the accuracy, repeatability, and robustness of the sensors. The copper and

      fiber optic strain sensors yielded similar measurement results; however, the fiber optic sensors provided a more

      streamlined installation and setup process. The cost of the individual fiber optic sensors is higher than the copper

      sensors; however, the fiber optic sensors require fewer data acquisition (DAQ) units. A hybrid instrumentation

      plan (copper/fiber optic) is suggested to optimize instrumentation costs while ensuring the measurement needs

      and data quality requirements of the test pavement are met.

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