Inverse analysis of pavement layer moduli based on data collected by buried accelerometers and geophones

Natasha Bahrani*, Eyal Levenberg, Juliette Blanc, Pierre Hornych

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The aim of this study is to develop a method for identifying asphalt pavement layer properties based on readings from accelerometers and geophones that are embedded near the ride surface. These sensors are relatively small in size and easily embeddable, making them an ideal choice for wide-area applications in the live transportation network. As a first step, a section within the IFSTTAR accelerated pavement testing (APT) facility was instrumented with accelerometers and geophones; also installed was an anchored displacement sensor to serve as a reference/validation device. The APT facility offers the ability to control the loading configuration and intensity, travel speed, and wander (i.e., lateral offset) position relative to the sensor locations. Thus, it becomes possible to isolate the task of property identification through inverse analysis from other real-world complications. The paper commences by describing the experimental setup, and presenting some raw sensor measurements during a single pass of the APT’s wheel carriage. Then, assuming a layered-elastic model, a method is proposed and demonstrated for estimating the pavement moduli. The method is based on best-matching measured velocities and accelerations for the geophones and accelerometers (respectively), with the model predictions- without integrating the signals to convert them into deflections. Very good match is obtained for the sensor readings, and the inferred moduli closely agree with reference values. This outcome means that there is great potential in building a pavement condition monitoring system with near-surface accelerometers and geophones.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAccelerated Pavement Testing to Transport Infrastructure Innovation : Proceedings of 6th APT Conference
EditorsArmelle Chabot, Pierre Hornych, John Harvey, Luis Guillermo Loria-Salazar
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9783030552350
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event6th International Conference on Accelerated Pavement Testing - Nantes, France
Duration: 27 Sep 202129 Sep 2021
Conference number: 6


Conference6th International Conference on Accelerated Pavement Testing
SeriesLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
Volume96 LNCE


  • Back calculation of pavement layer moduli
  • Pavement analysis
  • Sensor technology

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