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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002

Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002

SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION


MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER
(FWD)

1 SCOPE
1.1 Scope of specification
This specification provides minimum equipment, calibration, validation and survey method
requirements for the conduct of network level pavement deflection testing using a Falling Weight
Deflectometer (FWD).

This specification does not address all occupational health and safety issues associated with its
use. It is the responsibility of the Supplier to operate in accordance with appropriate legislation.

1.2 Scope of works


(a) The list of the roads to be surveyed is attached to this specification as Annex 1.

(b) The location referencing system to be used to report final data is documented in Annex 2.

(c) The format for reporting of final data is documented in Annex 3.

2 ROLES
Table 1 outlines the roles of different parties considered in this specification.

Table 1: Roles of different parties considered in this specification

Role Description
Client the organisation for whom the FWD data is being collected
Contract Supervisor the representative of the Client organisation
Supplier the operators of the fwd system and the suppliers of the resultant data

3 REFERENCED DOCUMENTS
Austroads Test Method AG:AM/T005. Distance measurement validation of road condition
monitoring vehicles. March 2007.
Austroads Test Method AG:AM/T006. Pavement deflection measurement with a Falling Weight
Deflectometer. March 2007.
COST Transport Program 1999, COST 336: Use of Falling Weight Deflectometer in Pavement
Evaluation, FWD Calibration Protocols, Draft Report, http://62.242.229.98/fog/fwd/cost336.htm,
viewed 24 June 2006.
Protocol U2: FWD Short Term Repeatability Verification

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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

4 EQUIPMENT
4.1 Minimum equipment specification
The FWD equipment to be used must meet the minimum requirements in Austroads Test Method
AG:AM/T006.

4.2 Calibration
4.2.1 Calibration scheme
This specification requires a two part calibration of FWD equipment, as follows:
(a) an annual fully traceable reference calibration (in accordance with Austroads Test Method
AG:AM/T006) that must be active at the time of data collection
(b) a relative calibration (in accordance with Austroads Test Method AG:AM/T006) performed
regularly between reference calibration exercises.

Calibrations are required to be conducted in accordance with the calibration scheme in Table 2.

Table 2: Calibration scheme

Calibration type Minimum conduct period


Reference calibration once per year
Relative calibration every three months

Copies of current calibration certificates must be provided to the Contract Supervisor before any
validation or survey activity can commence. At any stage during the collection of data, the last
reference and relative calibrations must not be older than the times shown in Table 2.

4.3 Equipment validation


4.3.1 Validation of distance measurement
Test Method AG:AM/T005 must be followed, and its check limits passed, in order to validate the
distance measuring equipment used by the FWD.

4.3.2 Repeatability of deflection measurement


For surveys expected to take five days or more to complete, it is required that checks of the
repeatability of the FWD equipment be undertaken, in accordance with COST 336 U2, before and
after the survey work. Results from routinely conducting the COST 336 U2 procedure can be used
provided the interval between the initial check and the initiation of survey work, and the interval
between completion of survey work and the next check do not exceed 30 days.

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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

5 SURVEY
5.1 Survey roads
Refer to Annex 1 for a detailed list of the roads to be surveyed.

5.2 Location referencing


Data must be reported in accordance with the location referencing system documented in Annex 2.

5.3 Survey procedure


Survey works must be conducted in accordance with AG:AM/T006.

5.4 Commencement of survey


5.4.1 Test parameters
The Contract Supervisor must inform the Supplier of the following test parameters (refer
AS:AM/T006) before survey works can commence:
(a) details of the location referencing to be used to report data
(b) the locations at which testing is to be conducted
(c) target load level for tests (if different from the value in AS:AM/T006)
(d) deflection sensor spacings (if different from the values in AS:AM/T006)
(e) data formats.

5.4.2 Validation
Survey works must not commence until it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the
Contract Supervisor that the calibration and validation requirements have been met.

5.4.3 Initial process quality assessment


For work in excess of 3,000 lane-km of total survey length (or in excess of 6,000 test locations,
whichever occurs first), an initial process quality assessment must be undertaken, prior to the
commencement of the full survey. This will provide assurance that the entire survey exercise (from
data collection to handover of final data) meets the Clients requirements. It also allows the Client
to conduct data quality checks against existing records. A minimum of 100 lane-km of the total
survey network (or 50 test locations, whichever occurs first) must be surveyed and the data
processed and submitted to the Client in the required data formats.

5.5 Ongoing repeatability


A check of the repeatability of the FWD equipment is undertaken, in accordance with COST 336
U2, as part of the validation process (see 4.3). Subsequent to the validation process, COST 336
U2 must be repeated, and its acceptance limits re-passed, on an ongoing basis, at an interval of no
greater than 30 days (unless otherwise agreed by the Client).

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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

6 REPORTING
Data must be recorded in accordance with the minimum reporting requirements listed in Austroads
Test Method AG:AM/T006, and be presented to the Client in accordance with the data reporting
format documented in Annex 3.

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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002

SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION


MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER
(FWD)

ANNEX 1 LIST OF ROADS TO BE SURVEYED

Austroads 2008
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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002

SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION


MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER
(FWD)

ANNEX 1 LIST OF ROADS TO BE SURVEYED

GUIDANCE
The Client must replace this page with either a detailed list of the roads to be surveyed, or a cross
reference to such a list in another location within the contract documentation.

The minimum information that must be provided is as follows:


names of road lengths to be tested
lengths of roads
test carriageways, lanes
designated start and end points of each road
identification fields used to uniquely identify the road lengths within the location reference
system used by the Client (refer Annex 2)
longitudinal spacing between tests
transverse location of tests (e.g. outer wheelpath, inner wheelpath, between wheelpaths).

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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002

SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION


MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER
(FWD)

ANNEX 2 LOCATION REFERENCING SYSTEM

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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002

SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION


MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER
(FWD)

ANNEX 2 LOCATION REFERENCING SYSTEM

GUIDANCE
The Client must replace this page with detailed documentation of the location referencing system
to be used in the reporting of data, or a cross reference to such documentation within the contract
documentation.

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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002

SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION


MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER
(FWD)

ANNEX 3 DATA FORMAT

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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002

SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION


MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER
(FWD)

ANNEX 3 DATA FORMAT

GUIDANCE
The Client must replace this page with detailed documentation of the data format(s) to be used in
reporting the collected survey data, or a cross reference to such documentation within the contract
documentation.

As a minimum the data format documentation must include the following:

data file type to be used (e.g. ASCII text file, Microsoft Access database (including version),
etc.)
file header information
for each data field:
name of field
description
data type
length of field/precision of field.

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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

EXAMPLE FORMAT DOCUMENTATION


Data file definition

Data file type: Microsoft Access 2003 database

Data fields: The following data to be reported at every test location

Database field description Field name Field format


Primary key (unique) PKEY Text 20 characters
calculated as:
(Road number * 10,000,000) + (Link * 1,000) + (CH_FR)
+ Survey number + Direction + Data flag
Road number ROAN Number Integer
Link number LINK Number Integer
Distance from start of link to location of test (km) CH_LO Number Float (3 decimals)
Carriageway code: CC Text 1 character
A: Undivided road
B & C: Divided road
R Z: Ramps
Carriageway version (denotes how many times the Link on that CWYV Number Integer
carriageway has been altered):
1: original version
2: amended once
3: amended twice
etc.
Lane code: direction surveyed: DIRN Text 1 characters
P: Prescribed
C: Counter
Lane code: through lane number (starting at median lane), e.g.: LCODE Text 3 characters
1: median lane
2: middle lane
3: kerb lane
Transverse location of test: TLOC Text 1 character
O: outer wheelpath
B: between wheelpaths
I: inner wheelpath
Contract code CCODE Text 5 characters
defined by Client
Supplier code SCODE Text 5 characters
defined by Client
Survey vehicle registration number REGO Text 10 characters
Operators identification (initials) OPERATOR Text 4 characters
Survey date DATE Date dd/mm/yyyy
Survey time TIME Time hh:mm:ss
Survey number for link (sequential from A to Z) SNUM Text 1 character
Data flag: DFLAG Text 1 character
A: Valid data
L: Discrepancy in length
Z: Invalid data (refer below)
Event code ECODE Text 1 character
(refer to following list)
Comments COMM Text 68 characters
Load stress (kPa) LOAD Number Integer
Deflection at 0 mm from centre of load (microns) D0 Number Integer
Deflection at 200 mm from centre of load (microns) D200 Number Integer
Deflection at 300 mm from centre of load (microns) D300 Number Integer
Deflection at 450 mm from centre of load (microns) D450 Number Integer
Deflection at 600 mm from centre of load (microns) D600 Number Integer
Deflection at 750 mm from centre of load (microns) D750 Number Integer
Continues

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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

Data file definition (continued)

Database field description Field name Field format


Deflection at 900 mm from centre of load (microns) D900 Number Integer
Deflection at 1200 mm from centre of load (microns) D1200 Number Integer
Deflection at 1500 mm from centre of load (microns) D1500 Number Integer
Air temperature (C) TEMPA Number Integer
Surface temperature (C) TEMPS Number Integer
Target load stress (kPa) TARGET Number Integer
Normalised deflection at 0 mm from centre of load (microns) N0 Number Integer
Normalised deflection at 200 mm from centre of load (microns) N200 Number Integer
Normalised deflection at 300 mm from centre of load (microns) N300 Number Integer
Normalised deflection at 450 mm from centre of load (microns) N450 Number Integer
Normalised deflection at 600 mm from centre of load (microns) N600 Number Integer
Normalised deflection at 750 mm from centre of load (microns) N750 Number Integer
Normalised deflection at 900 mm from centre of load (microns) N900 Number Integer
Normalised deflection at 1200 mm from centre of load (microns) N1200 Number Integer
Normalised deflection at 1500 mm from centre of load (microns) N1500 Number Integer

Data flag

Survey data is marked as invalid, and must be flagged in the database, for occurrences of the following events:

data is collected when the equipment is not complying with the quality plan
data is collected in localised area of contamination of the road surface, e.g. mud, debris, etc.

Event code

Event code Description Extent


Valid data
E Extraordinary event Also describe in the comments
field
O Change from the nominated lane or transverse location Each data item affected
N 10% or 5 micron (whichever is greater) difference in Each data item affected
deflection readings between second and third test drop
C Reading other than third test drop used Each data item affected
Invalid data
D Sensor drop off exceeds specified limits Each data item affected
U Test conducted on bridge, culvert, filled trench, or other Discrete event
discontinuity
W Road works (inc. sidetracks, roads under construction or Each data item affected
repair, road opening, temporary cover, etc.)

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Austroads Specification AG:AM/S002
Specification for Pavement Deflection Measurement with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD)

AMENDMENT RECORD
Amendment No. Sections amended Action 1 Date
1 (Initial release) All (Michael Moffatt, ARRB) New 26 March 2007
2 5.4.1 Test parameters Substitution 2 April 2008
Changed text to refer to AG:AM/T006 (Michael Moffatt, ARRB)
1 Key:
Format change in format
Substitution old section removed and replaced with new section
New insertion of new section
Removed old section removed

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AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002
SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER (FWD)
COMMENTARY

AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002

SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION


MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER
(FWD)

COMMENTARY

1 SCOPE
The following key principles were established during the development of this specification and its
associated test methods:
the specification and test methods must be relevant to the national, state and local
government networks, and to personnel managing those networks
standardisation of practice is desirable
equipment validation exercises do not need to be tied to specific jurisdictions, and inter-
jurisdictional acceptance of equipment validation is desirable
specification requirements that cannot readily be measured or assessed should be avoided.

Additionally, there were two, often conflicting, imperatives that had to be balanced when preparing
the specification and associated test methods:
a specification could not be a vague guideline, but must provide clear statements of
requirements
for a specification to obtain wide acceptance, it must be flexible enough to cater for the range
of different requirements that occur between jurisdictions.

In the preparation of the specification and test methods, considerable effort was made to balance
these issues. For example, in order to ensure wide applicability, no attempt was made to specify
requirements for the locations of testing because of the wide range of location referencing
systems, testing spacings, number of lanes tested, etc. operating throughout Australasia.

In the majority of cases, it is anticipated that the specification, and in turn the test methods, will be
framed within broader contract documentation specific to a given application. Such overarching
contract documentation provides an opportunity for the Client to specify additional requirements, or
make specific exclusions, from the Austroads specification.

Whilst the specification could be amended on a contract-by-contract basis to reflect the


requirements for the specific project, this is not recommended as it would dilute the standardised
nature of the Austroads specification. It is preferred that the contract documentation requires
adherence to the Austroads specification, but separately lists additional amendments,
requirements or exclusions.

Table A presents the intended roles of the specifications, test methods and broader contract
documentation within a condition data collection contract.

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AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002
SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER (FWD)
COMMENTARY

Table A: Document roles within a condition data collection contract

Document type Description


Test method instructions for carrying-out a specific activity
Specifications statements about which activities to undertake and when to
undertake them
list of roads to be surveyed
details of the clients referencing system (i.e. the system to be
used to report the data)
details of the data format for the presentation of the final data
Additional contract documentation legal terms of contract
quality plan and procedures
provision for risk (including types of insurances)
definitions of responsibilities (e.g. traffic control)
additional requirements
specific exclusions from Austroads specification

When considering additional requirements or exclusions to the specifications and test methods it is
important to remember that, during their development, these documents have been closely
examined by asset managers, tender documentation writers and equipment users. Accordingly,
the specification and test methods should be considered as both technically sound and practical to
use. Care should be taken when adding requirements to the specification to ensure that there is a
need to do so, and that the additions are achievable and relevant.

Additional guidance and background information can be found in the Austroads Guide to Asset
Management Part 5D: Strength (Austroads 2007).

1.1 Scope of specification


It is important to note that the specification and associated test methods have been prepared for
the testing of pavements at the network level. Care should be taken when applying the
specification or test methods at the project level.

If the Client has additional occupational health and safety requirements, e.g. specific traffic control
requirements, then these should be specified in additional contract documentation.

1.2 Scope of works


The specification contains the following three annexes which must be populated by the Client
before use:
Annex 1: the list of roads to be surveyed
Annex 2: details of the location referencing system to be used when reporting the data
Annex 3: details of the data format to be used when reporting the final data

Each of these annexes currently contains guidance to the Client as to how each annex should be
populated. It is intended that these guidance notes be replaced (including any examples) with the
contract specific detailed information required.

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AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002
SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER (FWD)
COMMENTARY

2 ROLES
No comment.

3 REFERENCED DOCUMENTS
Only those documents referenced by the specification are included in this list. Individual related
test methods may refer to additional documentation.

4 EQUIPMENT
4.1 Minimum equipment specification
The detailed list of test equipment requirements is contained in the data collection test method
(AG:AM/T006).

4.2 Calibration
The independent assessment of pavement deflections required for equipment validation is
problematic in nature. Close control of the calibration of the primary sensors on an FWD is easier
to achieve, and provides increased confidence in the test results.

4.2.1 Calibration scheme


During the annual reference calibration the primary sensors of the FWD (the load cell, deflection
sensors and temperature sensors) are calibrated against appropriate reference sensors.

The three-monthly relative calibrations only consider deflection sensors. The procedure involves
comparing the readings of all deflection sensors against each other, and does not use a reference
sensor.

4.3 Equipment validation


4.3.1 Validation of distance measurement
Test Method AG:AM/T005 is not specific to the FWD device, and can be used for many different
road condition monitoring equipment types.

4.3.2 Repeatability of deflection measurement


The COST 336 U2 procedure involves the comparison of multiple deflection readings taken in
rapid succession at a single location.

Due to the highly variable nature of bituminous and granular pavement deflections, the comparison
of deflection results taken at different times is difficult and the use of such comparisons as a
contractual check of FWD measurement performance is not recommended.

The COST 336 U3 procedure can be used to compare deflection readings taken at the same
location over a period of time. The procedure notes that deflection results will not be constant
over the year due to temperature and seasonal changes. For that reason the test provides only
indicative data. Australian pavements are considered likely to be more sensitive to temperature
and seasonal changes than the European pavements considered by the COST 336 work. For this

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AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002
SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER (FWD)
COMMENTARY

reason a long term repeatability test such as COST 336 U3 has not been included in the
specification.

5 SURVEY
5.1 Survey roads
No comment.

5.2 Location referencing


No comment.

5.3 Survey procedure


No comment.

5.4 Commencement of survey


5.4.1 Test parameters
The survey test method AG:AM/T006 does not specify the locations at which FWD tests are to be
conducted. Neither the longitudinal spacing between tests, nor the transverse location across the
lane are specified. These locations must be defined by the Client.

5.4.2 Validation
No comment.

5.4.3 Initial process quality assessment


It is intended that this assessment act as a sanity check on the complete survey system
(equipment-through-to-reporting) to ensure that the expected results are being obtained.

5.5 Ongoing repeatability


No comment.

6 REPORTING
There is a difference between the recording of data and the reporting of data. The survey test
method, AG:AM/T006, lists parameters that must be recorded during an FWD survey. It is
possible that the Clients reporting data format will not require some of these parameters, and it is
similarly possible that the reporting format may require additional or derived parameters (such as
GPS location data or estimated pavement structural numbers).

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AUSTROADS SPECIFICATION AG:AM/S002
SPECIFICATION FOR PAVEMENT DEFLECTION MEASUREMENT WITH A FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER (FWD)
COMMENTARY

ANNEX 1 LIST OF ROADS TO BE SURVEYED


Guidance

The Client must replace these guidance notes with a detailed list of the roads to be surveyed.
Alternatively, the Client may replace the guidance notes with a reference to the list of roads
contained elsewhere in additional contract documentation.

ANNEX 2 LOCATION REFERENCING SYSTEM


Guidance

The Client must replace these guidance notes with a detailed explanation of the location
referencing system to be used to report the collected data. Alternatively, the Client may replace
the guidance notes with a reference to a description of the location referencing system contained
elsewhere in additional contract documentation.

ANNEX 1 DATA FORMAT


Guidance

The Client must replace these guidance notes and example with a detailed description of the data
format required for the final presentation of the data. Alternatively, the Client may replace the
guidance notes with a reference to a description of the data format contained elsewhere in
additional contract documentation.

REFERENCES
Austroads 2007, Guide to asset management Part 5D: strength. Publication AG:AM05D/07,
Austroads, Sydney (in preparation).

AMENDMENT RECORD
Amendment No. Sections amended Action 1 Date
1 (Initial release) All (Michael Moffatt, ARRB) New 26 March 2007

1 Key:
Format change in format
Substitution old section removed and replaced with new section
New insertion of new section
Removed old section removed

This commentary is relevant to the 26 March 2007 release of Austroads Specification


AG:AM/S002.

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