Applications of Lasers in Highway Engineering

Lasers in Highway Engineering

Lasers in Highway Engineering are used for various purposes like


  • Right of way measurement,
  • Road profiling,
  • Pavement Surface deflection,
  • Accident spot analysis,
  • Bridge deflection,
  • Making new highway alignment
  • Speed checking etc.


The Laser techniques have a higher accuracy because everything is automated, quick in collecting data, computed by a computer and needs less human involvement.

Applications of the Lasers in Highway Engineering

Road Profiling

The profile of a path is calculated around some in-existent line or point which is permanent. Besides, the rutting and the other issues, the profile of a path which is taken along a lateral line shows over the altitude and crown of the route outline. The longitudinal profile displays the ruggedness, hardness, and grade of the material.

It is used for tracking the status of a pavement management system road network (PMS) network, for determining the existence of built or separated environments.

Laser Profiling of road cracks


Pavement Surface Deflections

It is measured using Rolling Wheel Deflectometer. It is used for measuring the pavement surface diversions at traffic speeds and to represent the heap conveying maximum of in administration pavements.


Also Read: 10 Recent trends in civil engineering


Bridge Deflection

Bridge Deformation is induced by the shifts in the geological environments, including the long-term loading including the overloading. Measuring the deformation is necessary for knowing the bridge’s safety, for ensuring its healthy usage. The deflection measuring device is composed of the laser emitter, laser receiver and upper computer. The laser beam will provide long-term reliability and high precision of positioning to guarantee the spot centre’s precise positioning.


Bridge Deflection


Speed Checkers

Lasers have been used for monitoring the vehicle’s speed to minimise dangerous road accidents. The road speed checker is useful for the traffic police, especially against speed limit violators as it offers the digital monitor as well as the buzzing sound or warning for identifying the vehicle speed if the vehicle speed reaches the limit required.

There is a developing requirement for the vital administration of the national roadway system for saving huge capital investment. Pavement administration exercises require exact, quick and practical pavement test systems for recording the current status of the pavement structures in a fast way. Laser strategy has the qualities of high correctness, high resolutions and repeatability, and has been connected in the range finding.

Profiler working them is:

  1. A reference elevation
  2. A height relative to the reference, and
  3. Longitudinal distance

These three components are combined in different ways, based on the design of the profiler.


Advantages of Using Lasers in Highway Engineering

  • The laser-based system can be used for measuring the road profile and deflection accurately while travelling at the normal speed.
  • The laser-based system also results in the rapid measurement and quick collection of the data.
  • It is used for measuring the multiple locations from the single instrument position.
  • It does not require any setup or breaks down.
  • It is the system which can be fitted on any vehicle required by the user.
  • The laser-based system can operate at a speed of 105 km/hr.
  • It is the system which collects data in the real-time as it traverses the pavement’s surface.
  • It eliminates the need for lane closure or traffic control while testing.


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