Imaging systems are commonly used for conducting pavement evaluations. AASHTO Standard Practice for Collecting Images of Pavement Surfaces for Distress Detection (AASHTO Designation: PP 68) addresses the collection of images. However, there are no widely accepted methods for measuring the characteristics of pavement surface images (such as 2-dimensional optical images and 3-dimensional surface elevation images). There are also no widely accepted AASHTO standard practices for the calibration, certification, and verification of such images. Research is needed to identify the characteristics of surface images that are essential for pavement evaluation and develop methods for measuring these characteristics, and also to develop recommended standard practices for implementing these methods. This information will help highway agencies better evaluate image data collection systems and improve the process of pavement condition evaluation.
The objectives of this research are to (1) identify and develop methods for measuring the characteristics of surface images used for pavement evaluation and analysis; and (2) develop recommended standard practices for the calibration, certification, and verification of such images, for consideration and adoption by AASHTO.
Accomplishment of the project objective(s) will require at least the following tasks.
The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objectives. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objectives. Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research.
Task 1. Collect and review relevant domestic and foreign literature, research findings, and information relative to image-based surface estimation for pavements and other applications. This information may be obtained from published and unpublished reports, and contacts with public and private organizations involved in the collection and analysis of such images (see Special Note A).
Task 2. Based on the review performed in Task 1, identify the characteristics of surface images relevant to pavement evaluation and analysis and assess their importance. Identify those quality characteristics that are essential for pavement evaluation and recommend characteristics for further investigation in Phase II.
Note: Proposals shall include the research team’s current thinking regarding the criteria that will be used for evaluating the characteristics of surface images and identifying those quality characteristics requiring further investigation.
Task 3. Based on the evaluations performed in Task 2, prepare an updated, detailed work plan for Phase II that includes an approach for assessing the identified essential quality characteristics, and identifying/developing validated methods for measuring them.
Note: Proposers must include in the proposal a plan that provides detail on the proposer’s current thinking regarding the work anticipated in Phase II and the approach for developing and validating the proposed methods for measuring the quality characteristics. The work proposed for Task 5 must be divided into subtasks, and proposers must describe in detail the work proposed in each subtask.
Task 4. Prepare Interim Report 1 that documents the research performed in Tasks 1 through 3. Following review of the interim report by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to make a presentation to the project panel. Work on Phase II of the project will not begin until the interim report is approved and the Phase II work plan is authorized by the NCHRP. The decision on proceeding with Phase II will be based on the contractor’s documented justification of the updated work plan.
Task 5. Execute the Phase II plan approved in Task 4, and identify/develop validated methods for measuring the quality characteristics of surface images. For these methods, prepare proposed standard practices and/or methods of test in AASHTO format.
Task 6. Using the methods identified/developed in Task 5, prepare an updated, detailed work plan for Phase III that includes an approach for developing and validating standard practices for calibration, certification, and verification of pavement image data collection systems.
Note: Proposers must include in the proposal a plan that provides detail on the proposer’s current thinking regarding the work anticipated in Phase III and the approach for developing the proposed standard practices. The work proposed for Task 8 must be divided into subtasks, and proposers must describe in detail the work proposed in each subtask.
Task 7. Prepare Interim Report 2 that documents the research plan proposed in Task 6. Following review of the interim report by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to make a presentation to the project panel. Work on Phase III of the project will not begin until the interim report is approved and the Phase III work plan is authorized by the NCHRP. The decision on proceeding with Phase III will be based on the contractor’s documented justification of the updated work plan.
Task 8. Execute the plan approved in Task 7, and develop the proposed standard practices, in AASHTO format.
Task 9. Identify issues affecting implementation of the proposed methods and standard practices developed in Tasks 5 and 8, respectively (e.g., costs and benefits, need for new data elements, new equipment, and increased effort), and propose possible actions to address these issues.
Task 10. Prepare a final deliverable that documents the entire research effort. The recommended standard practices and/or methods of test shall be prepared as stand-alone documents.
Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.
A. Information relevant to this research may be available from Pooled Fund Study TPF-5(299), Improving the Quality of Pavement Surface Distress and Transverse Profile Data Collection and Analysis (https://collaboration.fhwa.dot.gov/dot/fhwa/tpf5299/default.aspx) and NCHRP Project 01-57A, Developing Standard Definitions for Comparable Pavement Cracking Data (https://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=4276) by contacting the responsible individuals noted on the websites.
B. Resumes of research team members must present relevant qualifications and be limited to no more than 2 pages for each member. The section on equipment and facilities (Item 8 in the proposal) shall describe relevant information and be limited to no more than 3 pages.
C. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
D. The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.
E. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the NCHRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.
F. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) the proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises--small firms owned and controlled by minorities or women; and (6) the adequacy of the facilities.
Note: The proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal.
G. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.