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Scanning Lasers Explored for Road Material Inspection

Photonics.com
Jun 2016
ARLINGTON, Texas, June 1, 2016 — Scanning lasers are being investigated as a tool to measure microtexture of aggregates used in asphalt and concrete mixtures, and could someday replace the camera-based systems used by transportation agencies today.

University of Texas at Arlington professor of computer science and engineering Roger Walker is leading the $671,011 project funded by the Texas Department of Transportation. Walker said the lasers will enable more-accurate measurements.

Roger Walker, a professor of computer science and engineering, is leading a project that will determine whether scanning lasers can measure microtexture of aggregates, which are used in asphalt and concrete mixtures.
Roger Walker, a professor of computer science and engineering, is leading a project that will determine whether scanning lasers can measure microtexture of aggregates, which are used in asphalt and concrete mixtures. Courtesy of UT Arlington.

The system will also be able to measure aggregate shape and angularity, offering important insights into which materials and mixes work best on Texas roads, with the goal of improving sustainability, cost and safety factors. The data generated in the study will be used to develop new adhesive systems that make binding asphalt and concrete better and longer lasting.

Walker's collaboration with the Texas Transportation Institute in the area of pavement testing dates to the 1980s. During his career with UTA, where he founded the computer science and engineering undergraduate degrees, Walker has brought in more than $9 million in research funding.


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