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Performance-Calibration of the novel full-scale test machine MLS10 for accelerated traffic simulation on Swiss roads (ASTRA2007/011)

Switzerland Flag
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

The numerous tests for the project "U2000" performed on the Swiss circular test track "Rundlaufanlage" as well as on the heavy traffic motorway A2 in the vicinity of Sissach BL (tests that were partly also performed with the Model Mobile Load Simulator MLS3) provided a broad data basis for assessment of different mechanical performance data:

  • Deformation stability of the different base course materials as a function of time, climate and load cycles
  • Bearing capacity of different pavement structure as a function of the number of axle loads
  • Compression and vertical deformation of bituminous layers under traffic

There was a need to verify the behavior determined and documented within "U2000" by comprehensive investigations


Goal is practical performance oriented calibration and validation of MLS10 accelerated pavement testing results through renewed testing of the "U2000" test sections and by comparing these results with the corresponding data from the comprehensive research "U2000". This means creating an assessment basis for the future use of the new full-scale testing equipment in Switzerland and to show the relationships between the data of the former Swiss circular test track (actual APT basis of experience) - in site performance - new MLS10.


There were identified three experimental road fields.

Before applying the loads all interesting quantities are measured. 

  • Surface geometry cross;
  • Surface geometry;
  • Layer thicknesses using geo-radar;
  • Deflection under a 6-tonne wheel load;
  • Geometry of the depression cavity (3-dimensional) with 6-ton wheel load;
  • Compression of bituminous bound layers by means of built-in deformation meters;
  • Temperature at the surface and in the depths -50mm, -150mm and -300mm;
  • Vertical deformation using accelerometers.

The measurement campaigns are repeated every 50,000, 100,000, 250,000 and 500,000 axle load transitions.

This approach allows the direct calibration and validation of MLS10. 


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The final report presents the results of the first three accelerated traffic load simulations Empa as part of the calibration of the new large test facility MLS10 which is designed and manufactured by the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. To this end, various created by Swiss standards covering constructions were burdened with the MLS10. The information thus provided is helpful in terms of an estimate of the number of loads to failure limit certain surface structures. Since the MLS10 is a prototype, this project also served as a way to detect any "teething problems" and to improve the performance of the machine. Title in English: Performance Calibration of the novel full-scale test machine for accelerated traffic simulation MLS10 on Swiss roads

Innovation aspects

Calibration of existing model.

Policy implications

Supporting tool for assessment of the negatives of road freight transport.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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