Improvement of Climate Data for Use in MEPDG Calibration and Other Pavement Analysis – Phase II

Pavement temperature is one of the most important parameters that influence pavement performance. In the Pavement ME Design (PMED) software, the pavement temperatures are determined based on the shortwave radiation (SWR) and longwave radiation (LWR) models. In this project, the accuracy of such radiation models is assessed. The PMED-recommended net SWR and the downwelling and upwelling LWR models were found in this study to be physically inconsistent and inaccurate. Alternative SWR data sources were identified in the Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Application, version 2 (MERRA-2) database. In addition, the research team identified alternative LWR models through an extensive literature review. Such SWR and LWR models provide superior estimations and, therefore, eliminate nearly all the issues associated with the PMED-recommended radiation models. Finally, asphalt concrete (AC) pavement distresses were analyzed for seven different radiation models via software called Mechanistic–Empirical Asphalt Pavement Analysis (MEAPA) software. It was determined that modifications in the radiation models significantly impact the pavement distresses. Based on such results, this study recommends that the net SWR, as well as the downwelling and upwelling LWR models, be updated in PMED, as outlined in this report.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Georgia, Athens

    College of Engineering
    Driftmier Engineering Center
    Athens, Georgia  United States  30602

    University of Maryland, College Park

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    College Park, MD  United States  20742

    Michigan State University, East Lansing

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    East Lansing, MI  United States  48824

    Georgia Department of Transportation

    Office of Performance-based Management and Research
    600 West Peachtree St. NW
    Atlanta, GA  United States  30308

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
  • Publication Date: 2021-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Illustrations; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 78p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01765876
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-GA-21-1916, 19-16
  • Contract Numbers: PI# 0016503
  • Created Date: Feb 22 2021 10:04AM