Use of Falling Weight Deflectometer for Airport Pavements

  • Greg White
Conference paper
Part of the Sustainable Civil Infrastructures book series (SUCI)


The Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) provides a rapid and cost-effective means of measuring the response of pavements to a dynamic load. Its broad application has allowed the development of significant guidance regarding empirical interpretation of FWD results. Software has also been developed allowing the estimation of layer modulus, including the subgrade, and in some cases the calculation of a theoretical strength rating for aircraft pavement structures. However, many practitioners question the reasonableness of the moduli calculated and the reliably of the resulting airport pavement strength rating. This paper reviews the use of FWD in airport pavement strength evaluations and assesses its appropriateness for particular situations and tasks. Example projects are considered and data analysed to determine the benefits and limitations. Further work is recommended to better understand the impact of variability in FWD results on inferred layer modulus and airport pavement strength rating.



The provision of FWD data and advice regarding testing protocols provided by Jim Johnson-Clarke or ARRB (Melbourne, Australia) is gratefully appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Airport Pavement Research ProgramUniversity of the Sunshine CoastSippy DownsAustralia

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