Research Projects

Pavement Marking Presence Tool

Project Duration

05-21-2014 to 12-31-2017

Project Summary

This research project has two objectives. The first objective is to develop a mobile (smart phone) tool to allow users the ability to assess the existing pavement marking presence (the amount of pavement marking on the pavement surface) and also help with quality assurance of newly installed pavement marking products that are not made up of a continuous solid line (MMA splatter pattern is one example). The second objective is to develop an easy to use tool that inspectors can use to assess retroreflectivity and color using their smart phone or tablet.

Task 1-Initial Assessment (CTRE):

Assess the impact of image resolution, light presence, size of the image, and distance to pavement marking on the presence analysis tool that has already been developed. Smart phones operating on Apple IOS, Android, and Windows platforms will be tested for their image resolution capabilities. As a result of this task, the research team will develop metrics for the quality of the image that is needed to objectively and consistently determine pavement marking presence.

This task utilizes the existing pavement marking presence tool that was developed by CTRE and operates on a Microsoft Windows platform. High quality images were used in the past to analyze pavement marking presence utilizing the presence tool. This task will evaluate the impact of image resolution on the quality and consistency of the pavement marking presence results. This task will also test current smart phones’ camera capabilities in terms of image contrast, quality, and resolution and the impact on pavement marking presence values. The research team will develop metrics to evaluate the results and recommendations on which platform(s) and device(s) can be feasibility utilized to run the future pavement marking presence tool. This information will be used in Task 2 (app development).

Task 2-App Development (CTRE):

Develop a Pavement Marking Presence App for the three different platforms available. As part of this task, we need to work with the App Stores for each operating platform to make sure that we are complying with their rules and conditions since the App will be available through them. We are assuming because of the problems with BlackBerry, we will not include that platform in the development process.

To accomplish this task, the research team will utilize the findings from Task 1, the existing pavement marking presence tool, and the sample images.

Task 3-Tool Testing (CTRE):

This task deals with the development and implementation of a testing protocol using different smart phones representing a range of the platforms to evaluate the developed App. The App design will be modified based on the results from the testing and also feedback from potential users.

Task 4-Bead Analysis (CTRE):

Assess the feasibility of using image analysis to determine beads presence in the marking and develop a correlation to pavement marking retroreflectivity. This requires capturing a multitude of images of pavement marking segments with known retroreflectivity (using a handheld retroreflectometer) representing a range of pavement marking types on different pavement surfaces.

Based on the results from this task, FAA and the research team will decide if additional work will be completed to modify the App to include this capability too. Additional time and resources might be needed to incorporate this capability in the new App.

Task 5-Sensitivity of Markings Retroreflective Measurements at Non-Standard Measurement Geometries (TTI):

Obtain marking optics typically used on runways and fabricate marking samples using those optics.  Develop an array of non-standard testing geometries based on various aircraft configurations (pilot position with respect to lighting position).  Characterize the retroreflective luminance of marking samples using the array of measurement geometries representative of various aircraft.  For a baseline, include measurements made at the standard ASTM measurement geometry.  Evaluate the measurements regarding sensitivity of measurement geometries.

Task 6-Develop and Test Prototype Inspection Tool to Assess Marking Retroreflectivity (TTI):

Using the results from the previous task, the researchers will develop and test ideas to assess marking retroreflectivity in the field using a smart phone or tablet.  During year 1 all testing will be conducted in Visibility Research Lab at TTI.  During year 2, testing will also be conducted in the field, and preferably on airport taxiways and runways.  A technical memorandum will be developed that describes the prototype development, testing, and results.

Task 7-Incorporate Techniques to Assess Marking Color (TTI):

The research team will develop and test ideas to add a feature to the marking retroreflectivity inspection tool that will assess color.  Because daytime and nighttime color measurements are completely different, the researchers will attempt to include both measurements of color.  However, the daytime color measurement will be prioritized if delays occur.  During year 1 all testing will be conducted in Visibility Research Lab at TTI.  During year 2, testing will also be conducted in the field, and preferably on airport taxiways and runways.  A technical memorandum will be developed that describes the prototype development, testing, and results.  

FAA Technical Point of Contact

Holly Cyrus - Federal Aviation Administration (holly.cyrus@faa.gov)

Technical Point of Contact

Omar Smadi - Iowa State University (smadi@mail.iastate.edu)

Researchers

Organizations

Lead Organization: Iowa State University

Other Participating Organizations