New Index Testing and Verification—Runway Roughness Index
A new Runway Roughness Index (RRI), based partially on the Boeing bump index (BBI), was developed as part of a study for the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Technology Research and Development Branch’s airport pavement roughness research. The new index uses simulator data from the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, OK, and was validated with real-world data collected at various airports using profiling devices such as the inertial profiler and rolling inclinometer profiler to determine reliability. Live acceleration data were collected from three-axis accelerometers installed on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Boeing (B)727 aircraft while operating on an active runway. The RRI is defined as the weighted root mean square value of vertical acceleration, computed at the pilot station for the model B737 using ProFAA software, assuming a speed of 100 knots, multiplied by a factor of 0.378. All the profiles used in the study were analyzed using the ProFAA software to calculate the associated roughness indices and were run through the software’s simulation program. Simulation data were directly compared to the real acceleration values from the B727. A research ProFAA add-on compared the new proposed index with the existing roughness indices. These methods of analysis were used to test and validate the proposed RRI. The analysis showed correlation between the RRI, the BBI, and other indices. The RRI helped relate ride quality to in-service airport pavement roughness values. Newly developed thresholds were validated for the proposed ranges for acceptance, monitoring, and excessive levels of roughness needing immediate remediation.
DOT/FAA/TC-21/32 Authors: Anthony Kuncas