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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Improvement of the SD Road Profiler
Project Researcher: Paul Orth, SDDOT
Project Manager: Jon Becker
Research Period: -
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:The South Dakota Road Profiler has become the standard measurement device for pavement roughness. Over twenty-five states use the system. However, the Road Profilers basic design is almost ten years old, and the last significant improvements were made five years ago. Because of the longer profiling season required for data collection, profile data users are finding that getting data processed for pavement management on a timely basis is becoming more difficult. Operation of the profiler is becoming more difficult and time consuming due to intermittent equipment failures. Also, in the past few years, the FHWA has required that states report IRI, making the collection of profile data essential.

The South Dakota Road Profiler is currently being operated in conjunction with the departments video logger. Weather, light, road conditions and the number of tasks demanded of the operator do not allow one person to operate both profiler and video logging systems. One person attempting to operate both systems simultaneously can threaten the integrity of the data. Therefore investigations considering separating the two pieces of equipment or improving them to run more smoothly together should be made as soon as possible.


Research Objectives:
1  To provide more convenience for operators and data users;
2  To provide a more reliable road profiler system;
3  To reduce time between data collection and delivery to users;
4  To improve profile analysis software;
5  To investigate separating the video logging and profiler systems;
6  To provide complete user manuals to all employees who operate the system and process profile data.

Research Tasks:
1  Review all literature concerning alternate computer systems and ranging hardware pertinent to the road profiler;
2  Submit a report to the panel concerning existing equipment and possible methods to improve the profiler;
3  Investigate separating the two systems or improving them so they work more smoothly together;
4  Investigate the possibility of providing profile in both wheel paths;
5  Streamline software so data only has to be processed with one program for rut, profile, IRI and sufficiency;
6  Document all aspects of data processing, profiler operation and data analysis software for use in writing a manual for processing personnel and data users.

Documents Available:

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