Pavement Roughness is generally defined as an expression of irregularities in the pavement surface that adversely affect the ride quality of a vehicle and thus the user.
Roughness is an important pavement characteristic because it affects not only ride quality but also vehicle delay costs, fuel consumption and maintenance costs. The World Bank found road roughness to be a primary factor in the analyses and trade-offs involving road quality vs. user cost (UMTRI, 1998). Roughness is also referred to as ‘smoothness’ although both terms refer to the same pavement qualities. It is often used as the ‘benchmark’ of how serviceable a road or road network is.
Ride Quality (Roughness)
High speed laser systems are linked to inertial and spatial systems to assess the ride quality (roughness) of the road or runway as a major input to a pavement management system, for assessment of construction quality, warranty claims and investigation into premature failure. For over 30 years, Pavement Management Services have been providing independent ride quality testing services to major construction companies, State and Local Road Authorities and Toll Operators, in Australia and overseas.
Laser based systems are the only systems to meet Austroads and international standards. A minimum of 16 KHz lasers should be used for roughness assessment up to 80 km/hr. Above 80 km/hr, 32 KHz or 64KHz lasers should be used. Only 64 KHz lasers are sanctioned for texture measurement.