Evaluation of Pavement Performance Using Remote Sensing Techniques

Current monitoring techniques to assess the condition of the transportation infrastructure rely extensively on point‐based measurements such as elevation surveys and sensors installed at the test site. These methods have been adopted by agencies and researchers for several decades, which are labor‐intensive, time consuming, often difficult and can lead to unsafe practices. These in turn delay the assessment of the condition of the transportation infrastructure where the decision makers cannot decide timely on the resource allocation for the rehabilitation works. The proposed research will help local transportation agencies including DOTs and cities to extend the life of the transportation infrastructure by assessing the risk‐condition of them through remote sensing technologies. This research will advance the state of the art technologies and aid in workforce development by introducing and educating the upcoming and current workforce in remote sensing technologies as applied to pavement condition assessment studies. The proposed research will be focused on monitoring the transportation infrastructure using LiDAR and unmanned aerial vehicles and developing procedures to assess the condition of the pavement infrastructure located in the Dallas‐Fort Worth area. The soils in this area undergo swell‐shrink behavior, causing pavement to fail prematurely and then resulting in several millions of dollars of expenditures annually for their rehabilitation works. The developed procedures for the monitoring techniques and solutions can immediately benefit transportation agencies to more easily and inexpensively obtain the valuable information through a multi‐year effort of applied research, education, and technology transfer. This research will play a key role in USDOT’s plans for the next 30 years to better “align decisions and dollars” through taking advantage of technology (“Beyond Traffic 2045 ‐ The Blue Paper”).