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Publication Number: FHWA-RD-06-067
Date: March 2006

Guidelines for The Collection of Long-Term Pavement Performance Data

Chapter 8. Seasonal Monitoring Program

8.1 Introduction to SMP

The purpose of the SMP is to obtain a fundamental understanding of the magnitude and impact of temporal variations in pavement response and material properties due to the separate and combined effects of temperature, moisture, and frost/thaw variations.

The SMP program includes an increased monitoring frequency of deflection, longitudinal profile, and distress surveys on selected sites in the LTPP program. The collection of deflection data involves a different protocol requiring testing to be performed on a portion of the test section using different test spacing than was used for the routine testing on the full test section. In addition to the increased monitoring frequency, other measurements—including prevailing weather conditions at the site, depth of frost penetration, temperature gradient, soil moisture, rainfall, ambient temperature, and surface elevation measurements—are also made at these sites. SMP data collection activities have been terminated per directive GO–36 effective October 31, 2004.

8.2 References Used in Collecting SMP Data

In 1995, section 3.5 was added to chapter 3 of the DCG to provide for collection of data as part of the SMP. The reference for this section is as follows. This section provides a general overview of data to be collected at these sites.

8.2.1 References Detailing the SMP Instrumentation and Data Collection

The following documents provide specific information about the instrumentation and data collection efforts related to the SMP.

This set of guidelines was modified August 7, 1998 by adding appendix A: "Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) Classification and Interpretation."

In 1999, a second phase was developed for the SMP. The objective was to provide additional information about the diurnal, seasonal, and annual variations in pavement response. Appendix C: "Guidelines for SMP Phase II Equipment and Instrumentation Installation" was added to the guidelines as of April 10, 2000. This appendix covered the data collection requirements for the second phase of the SMP.

8.2.2 References for SMP Software Manuals

Several pieces of software were used by the SMP. Documentation for these software items includes the following.


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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with field offices across the United States. is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with field offices across the United States. is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Provide leadership and technology for the delivery of long life pavements that meet our customers needs and are safe, cost effective, and can be effectively maintained. Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) R&T Web site portal, which provides access to or information about the Agency’s R&T program, projects, partnerships, publications, and results.
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