Monthly Archive: August 2017

Intelligent Compaction provides crews with continuous compaction control with real-time monitoring

FHWA, The Transtec Group Release Intelligent Compaction Guideline Documents

Adequate and uniform compaction of road materials, such as soils, aggregate bases, and asphalt pavement materials, is one of the most important requirements in roadway construction. It is indispensable to strive for high quality of compaction to ensure long-lasting performance. Intelligent Compaction (IC), which uses modern vibratory rollers equipped with an integrated measurement system, an onboard computer reporting system, Global Positioning System (GPS) based mapping, and optional feedback control, helps improve compaction quality control.

“Intelligent Compaction provides crews with continuous compaction control with real-time monitoring,” said Dr. George Chang, Director of Research at The Transtec Group. “IC can help the roller operator better control and achieve the coverage for compaction, which is very difficult to do without guidance.”

Now that construction season is well underway in the United States, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and pavement engineering firm The Transtec Group published two intelligent compaction technical briefs to help construction teams and organizations effectively and efficiently implement IC.

Specification for Intelligent Compaction

The Specification for Intelligent Compaction Technical Brief (FHWA-HIF-17-037) provides a review of national and state IC specifications and recommendations for future enhancements. The FHWA and AASHTO have developed national IC guide specifications and an increasing number of state agencies have also developed their own IC specifications. There is a lot of variance, however, among the contents of state IC specifications.

“Without requiring IC in construction specifications, it is very difficult to make IC widespread,” said Dr. Chang. “The goal of the tech brief is to make complicated technical content more palatable to the public so they can digest the material in a short-form publication.”

Common elements of IC specifications include IC system requirements, a quality control plan, training, field operation requirements, data requirements and submission, and measures and payment. This tech brief provides guidance for state DOTs to customize those elements into their specification.

Color-Coded IC Maps

The Color-Coded IC Maps Technical Brief (FHWA-HIF-17-036) outlines guidelines and recommendations for color-coded maps using IC and paver-mounted thermal profiler (PMTP) data. These maps include items such as roller passes, asphalt surface temperatures, and stiffness values.

IC and PMTP systems have been gaining popularity across the US over the past decade to improve compaction quality and detect temperature segregation behind pavers. On IC and PMTP systems, color-coded maps from their onboard displays are used extensively for monitoring and visual inspection of collected field data and machine operation.

“Visual inspection in the field is one of the very first steps for quality and acceptance of construction, such as meeting required roller passes and coverage and minimum asphalt temperatures” said Dr. Chang. “Using a consistent color palette will make inspections consistent and the process robust.”

Veta Software

IC and PMTP systems gather a tremendous amount of complex geospatial data that poses challenges for data management, analysis, and reporting. These issues have become the main hurdles during implementation. To address the above issues, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, FHWA, and the Transportation Pooled Fund Study, TPF-5(334) have funded development of the Veta software tool for IC and PMTP data viewing and analysis.

Veta is a map-based software tool for viewing and analyzing geospatial data. Currently, Veta can import data from various IC machines and PMTP scanners to perform editing, filtering, spot test correlation, and statistical analysis as a post-processing tool.

One of the salient features of Veta is viewing IC and PMTP data as color-coded maps on top of geographical road or aerial maps to facilitate quantitative interpretation. Key examples are for evaluating consistency of rolling patterns and for identifying cold blobs or streaks of asphalt temperature segregation. Veta allows users to select any specific passes to be viewed, including the last pass or final coverage.

Veta is required in FHWA and AASHTO PP80-17 specifications, and is increasingly adopted by state highway agencies.

The Transtec Group developed Veta with support from the FHWA. Veta is free to download. Currently, the Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF) study, “TPF-5(334) Enhancement to the Intelligent Construction Data Management System (Veta) and Implementation” is leading the effort for enhancing and maintaining Veta to facilitate the national IC/PMTP implementation.

Veta 4.2.38 Released

Some of the changes from 4.3 have passed down to 4.2, as that is what most people are using right now. The cold-edge and bracker filter has been revised, as described below. However, this revision does require existing thermal profiling projects to be reprocessed upon open. As always we advise working with a copy of your project file.

Download Veta 4.2

Existing thermal profiling projects will be reprocessed.

Filters

  • Change: The cold-edge filter has been revised again. The revision in 4.2.36 (June 2017), allowed the filter to work with projects containing files containing different numbers of sensors, but yielded less desirable results than previous versions. The filter now gives the same results as the previous versions.
  • Fix: Sometimes the Specific Date input was disabled.

Sublots

  • Fixed: Displayed coordinates and units sometimes did not match the project coordinate system and the distance unit in the Options.

Analysis

  • Fixed: The sublots length for the applied filter group did not update when the sublots were created.

Veta 4.3.18 Released

The quest for perfection continues. More fixes for the coordinate and unit information shown on-screen.

Download Veta 4.3

Misc

  • Fixed: Displayed coordinates and units sometimes did not match the project coordinate system and the distance unit in the Options.

 

Veta 4.3.17 Released

Despite extensive testing, some bugs slipped through in the last release, mainly with regards to unit conversion. The cold-edge and bracker filter has also been revised, as described below. However, this revision does require existing thermal profiling projects to be reprocessed upon open. As always we advise working with a copy of your project file.

Download Veta 4.3

Import

  • Fixed: Some files could not be imported.

Map

  • Change: Search tool minimum radius changed to 1 ft (0.3 m). Default value changed to the same.

Filters

  • Change: The cold-edge filter has been revised again. The revision in 4.2.36 (June 2017), allowed the filter to work with projects containing files containing different numbers of sensors, but yielded less desirable results than previous versions. The filter now gives the same results as the previous versions.
  • Fix: Sometimes the Specific Date input was disabled.

Sublots

  • Fixed: Displayed coordinates and units sometimes did not match the project coordinate system and the distance unit in the Options.

Analysis

  • Fixed: The sublots length for the applied filter group did not update when the sublots were created.

Misc

  • Fix: Various unit conversion issues.

 

Veta 4.3 Released

We are pleased to announce the release of Veta 4.3! All changes are listed in the Release Notes and also provided below.

Download Veta 4.3

Import

  • New: Added support for Volvo soils files.
  • New: Added support for the Oregon Coordinate Reference System

Map

  • New: Search tool to list all data near a selected location.

Analysis

  • Fixed: A given location in the thermal profile would be colored differently depending on the x-axis starting value.
  • New: The semivariogram for thermal profiling has been replaced with a “transverse semivariogram”. The standard semivariogram did not always work well for thermal profiling data, especially when there is large temperature segregation.
  • New: Added a legend for the thermal profile.

Reports

  • New: Added option to choose if sublots should be reported. If not, only the summary will be reported, which can drastically reduce the size and time needed to create reports.
  • Change: File export has been simplified to only export using the selected coodinate system.

Misc

  • Change: Many performance improvements.
  • Change: Location information now lists Northing/Latitude first, followed by Easting/Longitude.
  • Change: Added support for very large projects.

Veta 4.2.37 Released

This release only fixes some usability issues with filters. All changes are listed in the Release Notes and provided below.

Download Veta 4.2

Filters

  • Fixed: Various issues with the ability to select, delete, and rename filters.

IC Champ Dr. George Chang Receives ASTM Award

Dr. George K. Chang, The Transtec Group’s Director of Research and a champion for Intelligent Compaction, is the recipient of the 2017 Billiard-Stubstad Award. ASTM International Committee E17 on Vehicle – Pavement Systems presented the award to Dr. Chang in recognition of his contributions to improving the use of inertial profiler data around the world and his substantial contributions to the roughness standards preparation and maintenance activities for committee E17.

“Through his work in the field of the measurement, processing and analysis of pavement profiles, Dr. Chang had become a well-known expert in the field of pavement smoothness,” said Dr. Zoltan Rado, chairman of the E17 committee. “He had used and dedicated his expertise and knowledge in the technical and practical pavement profile measurement area to bring unique administrative contributions and leadership in the standards development work of ASTM E17. His work within the E17 committee had made it possible for the committee to develop and maintain relevant standards that support the industry and user communities as well as state and national regulatory bodies with pavement roughness measurement and analysis standards.”

Dr. Chang has also previously received the 2007 Kummer Lecture Award and the 2010 Meyer-Horne Outstanding Achievement Award from ASTM.

The Billiard-Stubstad Award was established in 2015 in honor of Gary Billiard and Richard Stubstad. The award is intended to recognize individuals who have made exemplary technical, practical, and/or administrative contributions to the pavement engineering community through their standards development efforts.

ASTM Committee E17 on Vehicle-Pavement Systems was formed in 1960. The Committee has 11 technical subcommittees that have jurisdiction of over 73 standards, published in the Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Volume 4.03. These standards have and continue to play a preeminent role in all aspects important to pavement management technologies, vehicle pavement interactions and intelligent transportation systems.

Dr. Chang is a world expert on pavement smoothness and intelligent compaction. He has extensive experiences in pavement engineering consulting, research, training, and pavement software development. He has been actively involved in many projects that relate to pavement surface characteristics–including friction, smoothness, texture, tire-pavement noise–materials structure design, and intelligent construction technologies. Dr. Chang’s unique expertise is in system/model integration, data collection and analysis, and asset management. He has developed many pavement engineering software applications that have been used as standards around the US and the world. He also co-founded the International Intelligent Construction Technologies Group (IICTG) association in 2016.

For more information on ASTM Committee E17 on Vehicle-Pavement Systems or the Billiard-Stubstad Award, please visit www.astm.org.