In-Situ Modulus Determination Using Dispersion Curves Developed From the Deflection-Time History Data

Xue Wang, Shihui Shen, Hai Huang, Weiguang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The advanced non-destructive tests (NDT) have become increasingly popular in the structural performance evaluation of transportation infrastructures including pavements. Among them, Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) and Spectral Analysis of Surface Waves (SASW) are the two most widely used methods in modulus measurement. Although popularly used, FWD methods base the analysis purely on the deflection characteristics of the pavement and the back-calculated modulus values are usually not unique for different data processing methods. SASW is based on fundamental spectral analysis of the Rayleigh waves but is practically limited in field operation due to its efficiency concern. On the other hand, the impact loading applied by the FWD will generate the Rayleigh wave, and the geophones used in FWD can capture Rayleigh wave fluctuation and measure the particle motion for phase velocity calculations. It is theoretically possible to use the deflection-time history collected by FWD to perform dispersion analysis based on the Rayleigh wave propagation theory, as used in the SASW method. Inspired from that, the main objective of this paper is to propose a new approach of using the deflection-time history collected by FWD to develop the dispersion curves and thus obtain the in-situ modulus of the layered asphalt pavement. This approach is referred as the FWD dispersion curve method. Two in-service semirigid base asphalt pavement segments were used as case studies to explain the new methodology. The results of layered modulus from the FWD dispersion curve method were compared with the traditional FWD and SASW method, as well as the laboratory Indirect Tensile (IDT) testing results using field cores. Findings demonstrated the feasibility of the FWD dispersion curve method in accurately capturing the layered modulus profile of the asphalt pavements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22053-22062
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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