|Pavement drainage systems are one of the keys to pavement function and longevity, and effective drain maintenance can significantly extend pavement service life. However, it is often a challenge locating drains due to them possibly being installed years prior to the current surface and being undocumented. In addition, drainage openings may be completely obscured by sediment and vegetative growth. Manual searches are currently conducted where personnel walk along the shoulders of roadways in search of drain outlets. Some ground penetrating radars (GPR) are used as well, but they miss numerous drains, leaving the roadway susceptible to damage from the drains because they cannot be located. Therefore, a method is needed to improve the effectiveness, safety, and cost efficiency of these operations.
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a novel GPR system for locating drains on roadways. It offers a more rapid and effective means of detecting drains that may be partially or completely filled with sediment. The algorithm used reduces background noise/clutter and returns more accurate readings from characteristics under constructed roadways, greatly improving target detection rate to locate points of interest. This GPR analysis algorithm and readout format helps engineers, departments of transportation, and site investigation firms who want to locate buried objects under constructed roadways effectively and significantly reduce the need for manual search operations, improving field work safety, decreasing exploration costs, and reducing the number of missed objects that could cause expensive failures and construction delays.
-Improved target detection rate
-Reduced safety hazards
-Departments of transportation
-Site investigation firms
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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