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Structural Monitoring and Maintenance
  Volume 6, Number 4, December 2019, pages 317-346
open access

Pavement condition assessment through jointly estimated road roughness and vehicle parameters
O.A. Shereena and B.N. Rao

    Performance assessment of pavements proves useful, in terms of handling the ride quality, controlling the travel time of vehicles and adequate maintenance of pavements. Roughness profiles provide a good measure of the deteriorating condition of the pavement. For the accurate estimates of pavement roughness from dynamic vehicle responses, vehicle parameters should be known accurately. Information on vehicle parameters is uncertain, due to the wear and tear over time. Hence, condition monitoring of pavement requires the identification of pavement roughness along with vehicle parameters. The present study proposes a scheme which estimates the roughness profile of the pavement with the use of accurate estimates of vehicle parameters computed in parallel. Pavement model used in this study is a two-layer Euler–Bernoulli beam resting on a nonlinear Pasternak foundation. The asphalt topping of the pavement in the top layer is modeled as viscoelastic, and the base course bottom layer is modeled as elastic. The viscoelastic response of the top layer is modeled with the help of the Burgers model. The vehicle model considered in this study is a half car model, fitted with accelerometers at specified points. The identification of the coupled system of vehicle-pavement interaction employs a coupled scheme of an unbiased minimum variance estimator and an optimization scheme. The partitioning of observed noisy quantities to be used in the two schemes is investigated in detail before the analysis. The unbiased minimum variance estimator (MVE) make use of a linear state-space formulation including roughness, to overcome the linearization difficulties as in conventional nonlinear filters. MVE gives estimates for the unknown input and fed into the optimization scheme to yield estimates of vehicle parameters. The issue of ill-posedness of the problem is dealt with by introducing a regularization equivalent term in the objective function, specifically where a large number of parameters are to be estimated. Effect of different objective functions is also studied. The outcome of this research is an overall measure of pavement condition.
Key Words
    pavement roughness; condition assessment; minimum variance estimator; optimization
O.A. Shereena and B.N. Rao: Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, Tamil Nadu, India

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