About the research
The Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) represents a major improvement over its predecessors, particularly in its comprehensive coverage of environmental impacts such as climate and groundwater on pavement performance. However, accurate and reliable model boundary conditions (a.k.a. input data) must first be collected to take advantage of such improvements in the modeled pavement design. This project concludes to improve the quality of the climate data available to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) for use with the MEPDG.
Hourly climate data are the most important environmental inputs to the MEPDG. The MEPDG software itself contains hourly time series for only 17 ground-based weather station locations in Georgia (GA). There are some other sources of ground-based weather station data available for GA, but most are deficient in important ways. Instead, the project team will use an exciting new source for high-quality weather data: the Modem-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) product from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).