Scanners help to prevent water damage to roads
Published: 20 April 2015
New use of measurement techniques
The launch of the trial is the first step on the way to using the measurement techniques for asphalt roads. Miramap soil scanners are already used to determine moisture levels in and under dikes. ‘The subsurface and the loads on asphalt roads are different than with dikes. To use this technology for roads, you have to take another look at what the data mean, and what they tell you about the condition of the road,’ explains Arjan Venmans, a geo-engineering expert with Deltares. Deltares uses the measurement data from the test array to make improvements in a software model for predicting the impact of water on an asphalt road. The model is then used to give road managers a picture of the maintenance costs and the useful life of the road.
Test array with varying groundwater levels and rain
The new approach to using the measurement technology is being studied in a test vessel measuring roughly two x two metres. The water level in the vessel can be raised or lowered in a controlled way. Long or extreme showers can also be simulated. At a later stage, there will be field experiments on an existing road.
The specially developed soil moisture scanners will be suspended behind a truck, where they will measure the groundwater level and rainwater in the asphalt. The scanners work with passive microwave radiometry (MIRA) and they were developed by Miramap, a company that specialises in remote sensing and Earth observation. Grontmij generates a picture of the subsurface using soil radar. The test array was built by Dibec.
This project was made possible by an innovation voucher from the European knowledge and innovation programme, Climate-KIC.