Instrumentation of Navistar Truck for Data Collection


Lee Alexander, Gridsada Phanomchoeng, Rajesh Rajamani

January 2013

Report no. MnDOT 2013-01



The overarching goal of this project was to instrument the new MnDOT Navistar truck used at MN Road. A rugged data acquisition, data recording and wireless transmission system was established for collection of various sensor signals from the truck. The truck was instrumented with a suite of 20 accelerometers, with these accelerometers being located both on the five axles of the truck and on the tractor and trailer bodies. In addition, the truck was instrumented with a differential GPS system and an inertial measurement unit in the tractor cab. A cRIO-based data acquisition system, a rugged laptop and Labview software together serve as a flexible platform for data acquisition. A wireless communication system has been established to communicate trigger signals to roadside cabinets when the truck is at desired GPS locations on the road. Data recording by in-pavement sensors is triggered by this system. Software has also been set up for automatic downloading of data from the truck to a server on the network at MN Road. The experimental performance of the developed system has been verified by multiple tests conducted by the research team. The above instrumentation of the truck will enable data collection on truck vibrations, enable analysis of correlations between truck vibrations and variations in signals of weigh-inmotion sensors, and enable recording of truck movements and pavement loads at MnROAD.

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