The National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) is a partnership between Auburn University and the National Asphalt Pavement Association to provide practical research and development to meet the needs of maintaining America’s highway infrastructure. Research performed at NCAT is used nationwide to quantify the life-extending and condition-improving benefits of different pavement preservation treatments on low-volume and high-volume roadways in both northern and southern climates.
NCAT is performing research on US Highway 280 in Opelika, Alabama to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of different asphalt surface treatments. Dr. Adriana Vargas, Assistant Research Professor at NCAT, and their staff needed information about the pavement conditions and contacted BHATE Geosciences due to our experience with pavement evaluation and management programs. Our professional staff has performed thousands of miles of pavement assessments and the company has invested heavily in the latest GPR technology and equipment to provide GPR services to numerous state DOTs and municipalities.
NCAT contracted with BHATE to perform a pavement layer thickness assessment using air-launched ground penetrating radar (GPR) scanning technology. GPR is a geophysical method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface to locate utilities and items such as underground storage tanks or through structures to map structural reinforcements. (Read more about our GPR scanning solutions…)
BHATE’s GPR professionals collected data using our air-launched GPR vehicle for pavement section layer thickness and variations to correlate to Falling Weight Reflectometer (FWD) data for pavement section capacity. Data was collected at 65 MPH (the posted speed limit for this road) resulting in thickness measurements every 6 inches. One unique advantage of our non-destructive testing GPR system is that the data is collected at road speeds without interrupting other road users and traffic.
BHATE is excited to work with NCAT on how to improve our highways across the nation. We are proud that our GPR solutions are providing NCAT with the necessary information to make pavement management recommendations to municipalities and DOTs nationwide.
Evaluation is an important first step in developing an effective management plan for a paving project. Collecting reliable data on existing pavement is critical since all major decisions regarding existing pavement problems and feasible rehabilitation alternatives and cost depend on the accuracy and integrity of the data assembled.
Contact the expert professionals at BHATE for your project-level data evaluation and a detailed analysis of pavement conditions to identify specific problems and their causes or other ways GPR can help you identify subsurface items.