Evaluation of Pavement Roughness and Vehicle Vibrations for Road Surface Profiling
Onuorah, Chinedum Anthony
The research explores aspects of road surface measurement and monitoring, targeting some of the main challenges in the field, including cost and portability of high-speed inertial profilers. These challenges are due to the complexities of modern profilers to integrate various sensors while using advanced algorithms and processes to analyse measured sensor data. Novel techniques were proposed to improve the accuracy of road surface longitudinal profiles using inertial profilers. The thesis presents a Half-Wavelength Peak Matching (HWPM) model, designed for inertial profilers that integrate a laser displacement sensor and an accelerometer to evaluate surface irregularities. The model provides an alternative approach to drift correction in accelerometers, which is a major challenge when evaluating displacement from acceleration. The theory relies on using data from the laser displacement sensor to estimate a correction offset for the derived displacement. The study also proposes an alternative technique to evaluating vibration velocity, which improves on computational factors when compared to commonly used methods. The aim is to explore a different dimension to road roughness evaluation, by investigating the effect of surface irregularities on vehicle vibration. The measured samples show that the drift in the displacement calculated from the accelerometer increased as the vehicle speed at which the road measurement was taken increased. As such, the significance of the HWPM model is more apparent at higher vehicle speeds, where the results obtained show noticeable improvements to current techniques. All results and analysis carried out to validate the model are based on real-time data obtained from an inertial profiler that was designed and developed for the research. The profiler, which is designed for portability, scalability and accuracy, provides a Power Over Ethernet (POE) enabled solution to cope with the demand for high data transmission rates.
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