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Step Frequency Ground Penetrating Radar for Location and Evaluation of In-Roadway Sensors (06-FH2_SBIR) Phase IIb

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
End Date: 
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
FHWA Program: 
Small Business Innovation Research
FHWA Topics: 
Research/Technologies--FHWA Research and Technology
TRT Terms: 
Ground Penetrating Radar; Operations; Research; Pavements; Pavement Cracking; Signal Processing
FHWA Discipline: 
Geotechnical, Pavement and Materials, Safety
TRB Subject Area: 
Construction, Geotechnology, Highways, Maintenance and Preservation, Operations and Traffic Management, Pavements, Research, Pipelines, Safety and Human Factors

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3484
Email Address: 
Transportation Enabling Technologies Team
Office of Operations Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

Traffic sensors embedded as in-roadway sensors frequently malfunction due to failure to observe proper installation techniques. Nondestructive evaluation of the installation or maintenance work has the potential to verify correct or incorrect installation procedures. Ground penetrating radar is the technique being investigated for this. The objectives of this research study are to: (1) Verify whether ground penetrating radar has the potential to identify defects in installation and/or maintenance.(2) Establish contacts with organizations that have problems with installations and dialog with them.(3) Identify critical gaps regarding the collection and processing of ground penetrating radar data, and what hardware changes or algorithms might be used to enhance the nondestructive evaluation of ground penetrating radar techniques.(4) Conduct laboratory and field tests of improved hardware and algorithms and conduct field demonstrations.


The key project objective is the detection of wires and cracks in wires and pavement.

Partners and Other Sponsor/Managing/Performing Organizations: 
Project Findings: 

By using advanced signal processing techniques and custom radar wavelength handling, it is possible to detect much smaller cracks than is possible with conventional impulse radar.