Field evaluation and analysis of automated rut measurement systems data for Texas conditions



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This study evaluated the performance of state-of-the-practice automated rut measurement systems (ARMS) for measuring rutting in the field at highway speeds under Texas conditions. A total of twenty-four 550-ft survey sections were selected with the objective of establishing representative conditions encountered on Texas highways as well as cases considered potentially problematic for automated rutting surveys. Five different ARMS measured the twenty-four sections at highways speeds and reported their best estimates of the transverse profiles coordinates at 552 stations and the Maximum Rut Depth (MRD) values for each wheel-path at 2,664 stations. These measurements were compared with the manual measurements taken statically at the same locations. The reference transverse profiles were manually measured using a laser distance meter and a leveled beam and the reference MRD values were manually measured using a 6ft straight-edge and a gage graduated to 16ths of an inch. In addition, the effect of different experimental variables on each system’s measurement errors was analyzed aiming to detect which pavement characteristics are more challenging for the ARMS.