Pavement Distress and Debris Detection using a Mobile Mapping System with 2D Profiler LiDAR

Regular pavement monitoring over highways and airport runways is vital for public agencies to ensure the safe riding of vehicles and aircrafts. Highways are mostly subject to cracking and potholes along with a few instances of debris around construction work zones. Airports are also concerned with debris but have much lower tolerance for the presence of foreign object debris (FOD) that could possibly damage the aircraft. LiDAR is rapidly emerging in a variety of mobile mapping systems (MMS) and will likely be integrated into many transportation vehicles over the next decade for pavement inspection. This paper proposes a unique algorithm for pavement surface inspection with the help of MMS driven at highway speeds. The study analyzed LiDAR data acquired for 8?mi of highway collected at approximately 55 to 60?mph. This study indicates that an adequately designed MMS along with the proposed algorithm can efficiently detect pavement anomalies as small as 2?cm in the form of cracking, potholes, surface debris, or any combination of these. This is more than sufficient for highways, where debris such as ladders and tires are an order of magnitude larger. For evaluating the effectiveness of detecting smaller airport FOD, a validation dataset was created by driving the MMS at 15?mph adjacent to a debris field of 50 sample pieces of FOD collected from an airport. The study found that 100% of the FOD items larger than 2?cm in size (12 out of 50 samples) were detected successfully at 15?mph. Both datasets suggest that MMS LiDAR is sufficient for pavement inspection and as sensor fidelity increases, even small FOD will be able to be detected with the algorithm proposed in this paper.

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    • The contents of this paper reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented here, and do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the sponsoring organizations. These contents do not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. © National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2021.
  • Authors:
    • Ravi, Radhika
    • Bullock, Darcy
    • Habib, Ayman
  • Publication Date: 2021


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01763564
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-03252
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:06AM