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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-08-0014
Project Name:   Step Frequency Ground Penetrating Radar for Location and Evaluation of In-Roadway Sensors (06-FH2_SBIR) Phase IIb
Project Status:   Completed
Start Date:  September 14, 2011
End Date:  October 30, 2012
Contact Information
Last Name:  Gibson
First Name:  David P
Telephone:  202-493-3271
E-mail:  david.gibson@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Operations Research and Development
Team:   Trans Enabling Technologies Team [HRDO-10]
Program:   Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) (2% of Adjusted CA)
Laboratory:   Digital Highway Measurement Laboratory
Project detail
Project Description:   Traffic sensors embedded as in-roadway sensors frequently malfunction due to failure to observe proper installation techniques. Nondestructive evaluation of the installation or maintenance work has the potential to verify correct or incorrect installation procedures. Ground penetrating radar is the technique being investigated for this. The objectives of this research study are to: (1) Verify whether ground penetrating radar has the potential to identify defects in installation and/or maintenance.(2) Establish contacts with organizations that have problems with installations and dialog with them.(3) Identify critical gaps regarding the collection and processing of ground penetrating radar data, and what hardware changes or algorithms might be used to enhance the nondestructive evaluation of ground penetrating radar techniques.(4) Conduct laboratory and field tests of improved hardware and algorithms and conduct field demonstrations.
Goals:   The key project objective is the detection of wires and cracks in wires and pavement.
Test Methodology:   See project description.
Partners:   U.S. Department of Transportation: Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA); Role(s): Other stakeholder
Expected Benefits:   Better ways of diagnosing problems with pavements and sensors
Project Findings:   By using advanced signal processing techniques and custom radar wavelength handling, it is possible to detect much smaller cracks than is possible with conventional impulse radar.
FHWA Topics:   Research/Technologies--FHWA Research and Technology
TRT Terms:   Ground Penetrating Radar
Pavement Cracking
Signal Processing
FHWA Disciplines:   Geotechnical
Pavement and Materials
Subject Areas:   Construction
Maintenance and Preservation
Operations and Traffic Management
Safety and Human Factors


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