Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 48-12. Inertial Profiler Certification for IRI Measurements

Inertial profilers are primarily used for collecting repeatable and reproducible road profiles. These road profiles are then analyzed to calculate a smoothness or ride quality index, the most common of which is the International Roughness Index (IRI). The IRI is often used as a smoothness measure for acceptance of construction projects. Inertial profilers are also used to measure IRI at the network level. The IRI is a performance measure that state departments of transportation have to report to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as a part of HPMS/MAP-21 requirements. The certification of the inertial profiler is extremely important to ensure accurate data is collected both for smoothness specifications at the project level and also for Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) requirements that the states provide accurate and consistent data. The study will perform a thorough literature review and survey of the state departments of transportation (DOTs) to determine the state of practice of certification of inertial profilers at the national and international levels. Information will be gathered on the following topics: (1) What is the reference device used for certification of inertial profilers; (2) Surface material types, ranges of roughness, and textures used in the certification process; (3) The procedure for developing reference profiles; (4) The test procedure used for certification; (5) The criteria used for certification of equipment; (6) The criteria used for certification of operators; (7) Procedures for handling equipment or operators that cannot pass certification; (8) Certification reciprocity among states; (9) The costs of certification for equipment and operators; (10) Maintenance and operation of certification facility; (11) Management of certification facility; (12) Site geometry; (13) Duration of validity of the certification for both equipment and operators; (14) Tests/procedures/processes to monitor the inertial profiler equipment operation and validity/quality of collected and reported network data subsequent to certification; (15) Certification documentation; and (16) Procedures for construction smoothness quality assurance, referee and /audits.


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  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 48-12

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Jencks, Crawford

  • Principal Investigators:

    Perera, Rohan

  • Start Date: 20160509
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40821

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01598989
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 48-12
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 11 2016 1:00AM