Measurement and Analysis of Airside Pavement Roughness at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

by Elson B. Spangler, Surface Dynamics, Inc, Michigan, United States,
Anthony G. Gerardi, Surface Dynamics, Inc, Michigan, United States,

Abstract: In May 1990, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport management contracted with Harding Lawson Associates to implement a pavement management system for that airport. In this implementation, Surface Dynamics, Inc. as a subcontractor to Harding Lawson Associates was responsible for the measurement of the elevation profiles of the DFW runway pavements and the analysis of the roughness present in those pavements. The roughness analysis was performed by the computer simulation of three aircraft types operating on the measured runway profiles. In addition to vertical accelerations at the aircraft center of gravity and the pilot station, the computer simulation outputs were: dynamic tire loads; dynamic pavement loads; and an accumulation of aircraft landing gear fatigue cycles. Since the aircraft simulation outputs were computed as functions of the aircraft location on the runway surface, the runway roughness features causing adverse aircraft response can be isolated and identified. This paper presents the highlights of that runway roughness analysis, examines in detail the dynamic loads on one of the DFW runways, and uses that information to design a runway rehabilitation strategy for that runway. Also addressed is the scenario where the dynamic load outputs from the simulated aircraft can be used as the inputs to existing pavement simulation computer programs such as ILLI-SLAB and VESYS to estimate pavement fatigue damage from aircraft operating on measured runway profile.

Subject Headings: Airport and airfield pavements | Dynamic loads | Pavement surface roughness | Aircraft and spacecraft | Computer models | Computer software | Dynamic analysis | Computer analysis

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