Accurate knowledge of pavement layer thicknesses is important in many aspects of pavement management. Often this information is unknown, and records are inaccurate, out of date, or difficult to access. To date, the only method for obtaining pavement layer data has been core sampling. That is time consuming, labor intensive, intrusive to traffic, and limited in coverage. This study investigated the capability of ground penetrating radar to provide accurate subsurface pavement profile information. Eleven sites were selected to represent the population of pavement types present in Kansas, with a particular emphasis on variations in base type and road history. The radar results show substantial variations in pavement thickness within each 1000 ft test section, and, in general, higher values of pavement thickness than were reported in available records. These predictions, when correlated with data from 73 ground truth cores, show an accuracy of plus or minus 5% to 10%, depending upon the treatment of the data. The asphalt thicknesses encountered in this study ranged from 2.5 to 20 in. The radar data were analyzed automatically using software which operated directly on the raw radar waveforms. This software is based on an electromagnetic model of the pavement layer structure. The resulting predictions were correlated with core samples obtained in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Transportation. The results show that a radar system which combines air-launch horn antenna equipment with appropriate software can provide an effective alternative to coring for pavement thickness measurements. In addition, this system provides more information to the agency, is cost competitive, and is safer to use because it does not require lane closures.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Kansas, Lawrence

    Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering
    1530 West 15th Street
    Lawrence, KS  United States  66045-7609

    Kansas Department of Transportation

    Docking State Office Building
    Topeka, KS  United States  66612
  • Authors:
    • Roddis, WMK
    • Maser, K
    • Attoh-Okine, B
  • Publication Date: 1992-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 52 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00625073
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: KTRAN: KU-91-3, SL Report 92-4
  • Contract Numbers: KSU-91-3(105)
  • Created Date: Oct 13 1993 12:00AM