Automatic Road Analyzer (ARAN) Inertial Profiler

Automatic Road Analyzer (ARAN) Inertial Profiler on TrackRide quality is important to the motoring public. The Auburn University ARAN van is a high-speed inertial profiler that is used to make profile-based roughness measurements in each wheel path on the surface of test pavements. Testing can be conducted at any speed between 15 mph and posted limits; therefore, roads do not have to be closed to facilitate data collection. The ARAN van is available to anyone needing its capabilities both within and outside the Auburn University system.

Roughness in each wheel path is reported in inches/mile in accordance with the International Roughness Index (IRI) approach, which is a mathematical assessment of long profile wavelengths tuned specifically to quantify the feel of the roadway for a traveler in a passenger car. Additionally, the right wheel path laser samples data at a relatively high frequency (64 kHz). This allows for the characterization of pavement "macro texture," which is a parameter used to define short wavelength irregularities in the surface of pavements that can be related to gradation, friction and drainage.

Dual scanning lasers mounted on the rear of the vehicle provide transverse profile data that are used to estimate rut depths in each individual wheel path. In short, the ARAN van is a useful tool that can be used to assess overall pavement quality for either research or asset management purposes.