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BRRC has an odoliograph for continuous measurements of skid resistance over the full length of a road section. This characteristic is important for the safety of road users. A tanker lorry is fitted with a fifth wheel carrying a specially designed smooth tyre with known characteristics. A water film is sprayed onto the road surface in front of the measuring wheel during travel. The measuring wheel is ballasted by a constant vertical force. It is yawed to an angle of 20° and consequently experiences a horizontal force (sideway force). The ratio between the two forces is expressed as a nominal value ranging between 0 and 1 (the sideway force coefficient, or SFC). The standard speed of the vehicle during a measurement is 50 km/h or 80 km/h.
The Belgian Road Research Centre has a curviameter to measure structural road characteristics rapidly and accurately. This device measures the deformation of a road surface at one hundred points, at a survey speed of 18 km/h and with an accuracy of 0.02 mm. The rear wheel axle is loaded to weigh between 8 and 13 t. Every 5 m a sensor laid down on the road surface by a moving chain measures the temporary deflection of the pavement when the rear axle is passing over.
Most modern devices for measuring texture in the macro and megatexture ranges are based on the principle of “laser triangulation”. A laser beam is projected perpendicularly onto the surface to be investigated and a special camera “observes” the patch of light on the road surface. The camera is capable of determining the height of the patch. By moving the measurement system (most often, but not necessarily, parallel to the road centre line) and measuring and recording the height of the patch at fixed intervals, it is possible to obtain a two-dimensional profile of the road surface.
The TRIMM project (acronym of Tomorrow’s Road Infrastructure Monitoring & Management) was completed late in 2014. It was funded under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research (FP7, 2007-2013). Its objective was to strengthen the role of condition monitoring in road management and to highlight its beneficial effects. The condition of a road network is, in fact, decisive for its level of service to road users. Maintenance is required to preserve or improve the condition of bridges and roads.