Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Density Gauge for Asphalt and Soil (ST11027-1)

TransTech Systems, Inc. (TransTech Geote


Construction projects that do not maintain density standards for compacted asphalt and soil are subject to premature failure from settling and fatiguing of surfaces. In transportation projects, this results in unnecessary and energy-wasting disruption in transportation infrastructure. With NYSERDA funding, TransTech developed a non-nuclear Pavement Quality Indicator (PQI) gauge to measure the density of asphalt while it is being compacted. With NYSERDA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), TransTech has developed a non-nuclear Soil Density Gauge (SDG) for compacted soils. Both types of non-nuclear gauges eliminate the use of radioactive material, which is utilized in the industry standard Troxler gauge. The estimated 65,000 nuclear gauges in the world pose a security risk, but users like the fact that a nuclear gauge can measure density of both asphalt and soil. Development of a single non-nuclear unit that combines the technology of the PQI and SDG may help phase out the use of nuclear devices while providing stronger infrastructure for the future.

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Project Description

TransTech will first develop a computer model of the impedance sensors that will be used in the design, and then design the combined PQI/SDG electronic circuitry. Other features will be added to make the device more accommodating to overseas markets. To verify the function ability of the new sensor system with new circuitry, TransTech will fabricate and test five prototypes, and develop an international user interface.


Higher quality construction in highways and other infrastructure projects reduces the need for repair and their associated fuel-wasting congestion. A phase-out of nuclear devices reduces significant environmental and security concerns. A successful product would create manufacturing and technical jobs in NYS.

Project Results

The program’s objectives were 1.) to develop a non-nuclear Combined Asphalt and Soil Gauge and 2.) to design the unit to be readily adaptable for international use. The program was successful in achieving its objectives. The new TransTech non-nuclear Combined Asphalt and Soil Evaluator (CASE-100) will be moving to the market place in 2010.


TransTech Systems, Inc. (TransTech Geote
1594 State St
Schenectady, NY 12304

Principle Investigator

Donald Colosimo

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:


NYSERDA Contact Information

Joseph Tario


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST11027-1

Last Updated: 5/29/2014