Project 3.2 (2019)

Use of L-band radiometer or other suitable sensing techniques for remote moisture measurements of unbound materials and soil subgrades

The moisture content level during and after road construction plays an important role in pavement performance, but until now has been difficult to monitor spatially along construction corridors in an economically feasible manner. Current standards involve taking small samples by hand from a few locations along the construction corridor. This is a limited approach that is not only subjective but costly and laborious, leading to quality assurance concerns, and potential delays, during which the MC of the tested material will often change. An ability to economically monitor the moisture content status for the entire road segment under construction, including beneath the final wearing course layer after construction is completed, without contact, will lead to a more economically productive and cost-effective investment in, and maintenance of, Australia’s road network. New developments in remote sensing technology, interfaced with GPS applications, may be applicable to the road construction industry. This project seeks to apply the passive microwave measurement techniques developed for satellites in the context of water resources management, to vehicle-based or drone-based applications in road construction and maintenance.

Project Objectives

1. Optimal selection of roadway alignment by early indication of potential problem areas

2. Optimal and uniform compaction of pavement layers through the control of moisture levels and their spatial variability.

3. Improvement of wearing course performance by controlling base course moisture content at point of application.

4. Pre-emptive road maintenance by using non-destructive monitoring of sub pavement moisture conditions due to cracks in the wearing course.

Chief Investigators: 
  • Professor Jeffrey Walker (LCI - Monash University)
  • Professor Jayantha Kodikara (Monash University)
  • Dr Ye Lu (Monash University)
Industry partners: 
Partner investigators: 
David Barker (EIC Activities)