Use of GPR for subsurface pavement investigations of 23 airports in South Carolina

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) has been used as a subsurface investigation tool in updating the pavement management and maintenance system (PMMS) for the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission (SCAC). An essential aspect of this system is tracking the deterioration of the pavement surface condition over time, and determining the load carrying capacity for each pavement surface. The evaluation reported in this paper addressed this need on 23 airfields by combining historical records research, visual site inspections, and physical testing. Testing included FWD measurements, GPR scanning, and coring. The specific objective of the GPR testing was to determine pavement layer structure information and to identify deeper subsurface features including voids or foreign objects, such as, abandoned fuel tanks, tree stumps, etc. in embankments. GPR was used to scan all major pavement elements, including runways, taxiways, and aprons. The GPR system combined a 1 GHz horn antenna to characterize pavement layer structure, and a 400 MHz antenna to identify utilities, voids, foreign objects, and areas of high moisture to a depth of 7 feet. The equipment was set up to travel at speeds of 15-20 mph, and was equipped with a differential GPS unit to provide a detailed track of the survey paths. The efficiency of this setup permitted the survey of 2 airports per day on average. The data was analyzed to identify thickness of the bound and unbound pavement layers. This data was presented in tabular and graphical form, and was used with the FWD data for back-calculation of layer moduli. The deeper subsurface features were identified and mapped using geo-referenced data files. The paper describes the equipment and methodology, the type of data generated, the methods of data analysis, and representative results.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: pp 191-197
  • Monograph Title: Bearing capacity of roads, railways and airfields: proceedings of the ninth International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways and Airfields: Trondheim, Norway 25-27 June 2013. Vol 1-2

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01596516
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • ISBN: 9788232102853
  • Files: ITRD, VTI
  • Created Date: Apr 21 2016 12:22PM