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Title: Airfield pavement smoothness requirements
Authors: Horn, Walter J.
Keywords: Airfield pavements
Roughness measurements
Runway profiles
Surface smoothness
Airfield runways
Publisher: Soils and Pavements Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: Technical Report
Abstract: This investigation was undertaken to determine the influence of airfield pavement surface roughness upon aircraft operations and to develop more realistic airfield pavement surface smoothness criteria for the construction of new airfield pavements based upon aircraft and aircraft crew operational requirements. Based upon a literature review of previous efforts in the area of pavement roughness, the human response criteria to whole body vibration were selected as the criteria for assessing the severity of aircraft response resulting from ground operations. Field tests were conducted using instrumented aircraft to measure the acceleration response of the aircraft at three locations within the fuselage during a series of ground operations. The profiles of the test site runways were also measured. The results of these tests provided a direct measure of the influence of a known runway surface on the response of the aircraft system and information for the verification of the computer code used during the subsequent analytical phase of the investigation. Aircraft response data were measured for both the B-52 and the Boeing 727 aircraft. Runway surface measurements were also made at a number of civil airports where slip-form pavers had been used during construction of the pavement systems. These measurements were used to evaluate the level of roughness that might be anticipated when slip-form pavers are used. An analytical investigation of runway roughness was conducted using an aircraft simulation computer code developed by the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory, and hypothetical runway profiles as the forcing function. Profiles were varied in amplitude, frequency, and form. The results of analytical parametric study were analyzed with respect to the vibration tolerance level of humans to evaluate the current Corps of Engineers (CE) runway smoothness criteria for the construction of new runway pavements. Based upon the results of this investigation, minor modifications of the current CE criteria are recommended.
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