Surface disintegration is a term used to describe defects such as fretting or ravelling in which aggregate is removed from the pavement surface. Left untreated this can result in the removal of localised areas of pavement surface, forming potholes and allowing water into the lower pavement layers.
Algorithms have been developed to make use of data collected within routine network surveys (TRACS) to detect and report signs of surface disintegration. These use profile data to characterise the pavement surface, identifying localised areas where fretting may be present. The data available to this approach is not detailed enough to pick up the early signs of the onset of surface disintegration.
A need has therefore been identified for research into methods which could provide an earlier warning of surface disintegration, which would provide a longer window of opportunity to maintain the pavement before it failed.
The research presented in this report describes the development of a mobile data collection platform for high-resolution 3-D profile, and discusses the use of the system to collect data on a number of surfaces. The visual identification of differences in surface condition is presented and discussed, as is a range of parameters to quantify the changes in surface condition.
Recommendations are made to investigate the use of such measurements in controlled conditions. This will develop our understanding of the measurement sensitivities required to detect the early signs of deterioration, and be invaluable in defining minimum requirements for data collection systems suitable for inclusion in future TRACS contracts.

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