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Comprehensive Airport Pavement Surface Profile Collection and Analysis


The Iqaluit International Airport, located in Iqaluit, Nunavut is a facility constructed in a region of pervasive permafrost. In recent years, Runway 16-34 has developed significant pavement surface distortions of possible concern to aircraft operations. These distortions present increasing more complex maintenance and planning challenges for the facility pavements. In order to assess the Runway 16-34 pavement surface, an extensive field data collection program was undertaken, which included geo-spatially referenced high-resolution pavement profile data over the entire surface of the runway. Long wavelength post-processing allowed the compilation of the collected inertial longitudinal profiles to create an accurate high-resolution surface elevation map for the entire pavement surface. This surface elevation map provided the ability to interpret changes in runway profile and localized surface undulations. This comprehensive pavement surface elevation data, combined with other field data was compiled into a Graphical Information System (GIS) for client visualization and presentation. The entirety of the collected field data represents the foundation for a comprehensive pavement condition evaluation.
This profile data also provided an alternative perspective into the Airport’s unique underlying geophysical conditions associated with the complex network of ice wedges and lenses. This data, when analyzed with detailed information pertaining to the active layer depth and subsurface thermal profiles, provided a method for quantifying the effect these sub-surface anomalies had on runway surface condition and ride quality. Ultimately, the results from this analysis were used to quantitatively identify pavement sections with the potential for airframe damage or other safety concerns during aircraft operations, and provided a means for selecting the most appropriate remedial action for restoring the long term integrity of the runway surface. The paper presents the collection, analysis and presentation of high resolution pavement profile data for Runway 16-34 at the Iqaluit International Airport.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Advances in the Data Collection and Usage for Pavement Management Systems
Mesher, D.
Palsat, B.
DeLustrac, T,
Asset management, Pavements