ATLaS: Accelerated Transportation Loading System

ATLaSLogo

ARA has been providing innovative technologies and solutions in all aspects of engineering and scientific research, development, testing and support since 1979. ARA is the sole developer and manufacturer of the Accelerated Transportation Load System (ATLaS). Since our first ATLaS delivery in 1997 to Ohio University, ARA has delivered ten accelerated pavement testers to research institutes across North America and China. Our 63,000 square foot ISO certified manufacturing facility in Randolph, VT is home to experienced engineers, designers and technicians with decades of experience in geotechnical fields. All of our APT platforms are custom built to accommodate traffic-induced load capacities, budget constraints and site restrictions. ARA is an ISO 9001 Certified Company, following a rigorous standardized system engineering approach with a strong data driven quality program led by a Six Sigma blackbelt.

  • ATLaS System Highlights
  • ATLaS Available Models

ATLaS System Highlights

  • Ability to automatically simulate 20 years of pavement trafficking in as little as 3 months
  • Ability to realistically apply up to 100,000 lb (445 kN) traffic-induced loading of trucks, airplanes and railroad systems
  • Ability to effectively test transportation infrastructures such as highways, bridges, airports, and rail road systems
  • Ability to apply traffic load wander and test in unidirectional or bidirectional mode
  • Ability to simulate environmental conditions by cooling and/or heating the infrastructure surface and induce moisture under controlled conditions
  • Ability to remotely monitor and operate the APT systems 24/7
  • Ability to quickly and cost-effectively upgrade and customize the APT systems
  • Ability to measure highly accurate surface profile using the ATLaS on-board laser profiler
  • Ability to apply load speeds up to 20 mph
  • Ability to induce realistic braking to the wheel load carriage
  • System mobility and ability to adjust test experiment in very short time
  • Operations, maintenance, and research support by experienced engineering group
  • Comprehensive on-call support
  • On-site training, program implementation and on-going research and data analysis support
  • Proven track record and solid financial company behind every delivery

All ATLaS devices provide our clients a unique full scale state-of-the-art accelerated pavement testing (APT) tool to generate applied infrastructure research that produces benefits to an agency in a very short time. The ATLaS is able to operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year to induce truck, airplane, or railroad loading to highways, bridges and railroad systems. The ATLaS will enable an agency to effectively evaluate, validate, and implement new construction materials, infrastructure design, construction practices, new maintenance and rehabilitation technologies in a compressed amount of time that would otherwise take years to assess in test tracks or long-term monitoring sites with live traffic.

By implementing an APT program, an agency will save millions of dollars to the tax payers by selecting the best construction materials, improving the construction specifications, improving the infrastructure lifespan, thereby providing to the public tangible and intangible benefits. The Wyoming Department of Transportation, in collaboration with the University of Wyoming, determined that accelerated pavement testing over a ten-year life cycle created overall Benefit/Cost ratios from 9.4 to 10.7.  Direct benefits were expected to be in the forms of improved pavement materials, performance, cost-effective designs, and efficient maintenance techniques.

Why It Works

The ATLaS APT series have the ability to realistically provide a highly controlled application of full-scale traffic-induced loading from 20,000 to 100,000 lb (89 to 444 kN) to transportation infrastructures to simulate the effects of long-term, in-service loading and environmental conditions in a very short period of time. The ATLaS facilities around the world have applied millions of load applications and generated cutting edge applied research for the benefit of the public.

Research findings determined that by implementing an ATLaS APT facility 10X B/C ratios can be expected from improving construction practices, material selection, maintenance and rehabilitation innovation, and increasing overall transportation infrastructure life spans around the world.

ARA provides to APT owner an outstanding support package that includes on-site training, annual maintenance plans, on-call technical support, APT program implementation assistance, research support, and ATLaS on-site full-time operations available to all our clients.

On-Site Hands-On Training

ARA’s ATlaS APT hands-on training are comprehensive, covering all aspects of user operation, safety, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of the system. In addition, courses on research program implementation, APT database creation, experimental plan development, instrumentation plan and best practices are available to all our clients.

ATLaS Available Models

ATLaS 20

The ATLaS 20 is a very versatile accelerated pavement testing (APT) device that is capable of applying full scale heavy vehicle loads to pavement and bridge structures. The ATLaS 20 ranges from 15 (4.6 m) to 75-ft (22.9 m) in length and can apply maximum traffic-induced loads from 20 kips (89 kN) to 22.5 kips (100 kN). In addition, the ATLaS 20 also provides the ability to simulate traffic wandering with programmable wander patterns in either unidirectional or bidirectional mode. The ATLaS 20 applied full scale load maximum speed ranges from 6 mph (10 kmh) to 15 mph (24 kmh). Depending on the APT application the ATLaS 20 can be customized to accommodate research needs, power requirements, budget constraints and facility dimension limitations.

ATLaS 20 Portable

The ATLaS 20 Portable, has the ability to apply full scale heavy vehicle loads on pavement structures over a 20-ft (6 m) test section. The ATLaS Portable APT device is easily mobilize to the desire in-service pavement section by standard eighteen wheeler truck with no need for special encroachment permits nor traffic control. The ATLaS Portable APT device has standard semi-truck trailer dimensions which enables the agency to safely and effectively test pavements both in the research facility and in the field. In addition, The ATLaS Portable is also capable of control and apply heating and cooling effects to the test experiment, effectively simulating multiple years of environmental cycles in a short period of time. The ATLaS Portable brings the best of APT research in a versatile and mobile way to apply full scale loading to transportation infrastructure.

ATLaS 30

The ATLaS 30 is an APT device capable of applying full scale heavier traffic-induced loads over pavement and bridge structures. The ATLaS 30 ranges from 30 (9.2 m) to 45-ft (13.7 m) in length and can apply maximum traffic-induced loads of 30 kips (133 kN) with a maximum speed of 6 mph (10 kmh). In addition, the ATLaS 30 can be customized to accommodate higher testing speeds, aircraft wheels, environmental control unit, and the ability to simulate traffic wandering with programmable wander patterns in either unidirectional or bidirectional mode

ATLaS 80

The ATLaS 80 is a very robust APT device capable of simulating full scale heavy vehicle, aircraft and railroad-induced loads over roadway and airfield pavement structures, bridge decks, and railroad infrastructure structure. The ATLaS 80 load wheel carriage can be equipped with single or dual wheels used for highway and roadway vehicles, aircraft wheels, or a single-axle rail bogie. In addition, the ATLaS 80 is mounted on four crawler tracks to facilitate positioning of the device across the test facility. Traffic wandering can be applied in either unidirectional or bidirectional mode.

The ATLaS 80 length is 65-ft (20 m) and can apply maximum loads of 80 kips (356 kN) with a maximum speed of 10 mph (16 kmh). In addition, the ATLaS 80 can be customized to accommodate higher testing loads, testing speeds, and an environmental control unit.

ATLaS 60 Bridges

The ATLaS 60 Bridges device is part of the Rutgers University Bridge Evaluation and Structural Testing Laboratory (BEAST). This unique equipment is the world’s first accelerated testing device for full-scale bridge systems. The ATLaS 60 Bridges is able to apply full scale vehicle-induced loads of up to 60 kips (267 kN) on full scale bridges of spans of up to 50 ft (15 m) long by 28 ft (8.5 m) wide. The load carriage can accommodate a full scale two-axle load that can travel up to 20 mph (32 kmh). In addition, an environmental chamber is also able to apply heat, cooling and moisture features with rapid climatic fluctuations that can simulate extreme environment conditions. The ATLaS 60 Bridges can be customized – for load level required, bridge span characteristics and research objectives. 

Meet the BEAST: Created in collaboration between CAIT and ARA

The ATLaS System Includes:

  • Load carriage able to apply truck, airplane or railroad loading, depending on the ATLaS model
  • Wheel and axle assemblies that are easy and fast to change for each testing mode
  • Wander system that applies traffic loading with programmable wandering sequences
  • Loading test speeds up to 20 mph (32 kmh)
  • Braking system can be applied instead of only a uniform deceleration to stop
  • High load repetition productivity with up to 20,000 load repetitions per day
  • Rigorous safety and emergency stop systems
  • Advanced data acquisition system with user-friendly operating system
  • Fully customizable APT system for load demands, budget constraints and site restrictions
  • Environmental control systems to simulate high, medium or low temperature cycles
  • Different loading modes including unidirectional and bidirectional loading
  • Automated testing with remote monitoring for 24/7 testing
  • Mobility and portability within the test site and on different test sites
  • In-depth hands-on training on operations and research program implementation
  • On-call support and annual maintenance plans
  • Optional research and operations support to implement the APT program, design of experiments, develop an instrumentation plan, data analysis, implement a laboratory program, and mechanistic modeling of findings

ATLaS can enable an agency to effectively evaluate, validate and implement new construction materials, infrastructure design, construction practices, new maintenance and rehabilitation technologies in a compressed amount of time that would otherwise take years to assess in test tracks or long-term monitoring sites with live traffic.

Alvaro Ulloa PHD  •  Tel: 512-521-5008