Dynamic Interpretation of Rolling Wheel Deflectometer Test Based on Spectral Element Method

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific


Road agencies generally use non-destructive tests, such as Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) tests and Rolling Wheel Deflectometer (RWD) tests, to evaluate the structural properties of the roadway network. In the data analysis process, the so-called “Back-calculation” methods are utilized to estimate pavement structure parameters such as bearing capacity, modulus, and thickness. Such parameter identification process needs two components: a forward model which can predict the response of a structure caused by certain load; and a backward model which can predict the parameters of the structure based on the response. However, most of the existing methods are based on an equivalent static “deflection basin” and an elasto-static layered model, so they cannot properly deal with the time dependent response caused by a dynamic load. To overcome this deficiency, a theoretical forward model is proposed based upon the spectral element method, which is accurate and efficient enough to be utilized in iterative back-calculation algorithms for the parameter identification based on RWD tests. The simulated results show that the surface deflection curve along the moving direction decreases more rapidly in front of the loading area, which will be more dominant at higher velocity. Also, the pavement surface vertical displacements are smaller at higher loading frequency, while the amplitudes are slightly affected by the moving velocity. Furthermore, the vertical displacements of the pavement surface are slightly smaller for higher loss factor, while the influence of Poisson’s ratio is very minor.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventTransportation Research Board 98th Annual Meeting - Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C., United States
Duration: 13 Jan 201917 Jan 2019


ConferenceTransportation Research Board 98th Annual Meeting
Abbreviated titleTRB 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington D.C.

Bibliographical note

Lectern Session 1112; Presentation Number 19-01949


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