The PILE DRIVING ANALYZER system (PDA) is the most widely employed system for Dynamic Load Testing and Pile Driving Monitoring in the world. It assesses the capacity of several piles in a single day. The PDA also evaluates shaft integrity and investigates driving stresses and hammer energy during pile installation.

The light and battery operated PDA model PAX gives the engineer the option of being present for the test or avoiding travel to the job (SiteLink® PDA Testing). When only the PAX is on location a field crew sets up the test and the PAX transmits test data via a broad band internet connection, while an engineer located elsewhere follows the test in real time. Read about the benefits of SiteLink PDA Testing. When the test engineer is at the job the PAX runs in local mode and displays all test data and results.

The driving hammer itself is used to perform High Strain Dynamic Tests, also called PDA tests, on pilot or production piles. If necessary, it is possible to perform re-strike PDA tests even after the driving hammer is no longer on location, by using a drop weight (see examples) to impact the foundation.

The PDA takes results from for every impact velocity and force signals obtained by sensors (accelerometers and strain transducers) attached to the pile and calculates foundation capacity, as well as other important quantities, by the Case Method. Sensors may be Smart (transmit data using Wireless Transmitters) or Traditional (transmit data via cable).

Every PDA features iCAP® as part of the PDA Software Suite. iCAP calculates capacity in real time after every blow by signal matching (similar to CAPWAP®). This calculation is often more accurate than Case Method capacity, and better evaluates stresses in the pile.

PILE DRIVING ANALYZER systems also include CAPWAP and GRLWEAP. CAPWAP analysis of PDA data is essential for a Dynamic Load Test. It provides the soil resistance distribution along the foundation and simulates a static load test. Extensive correlations between CAPWAP simulated and actual static load tests have proven the reliability of this method of determining pile capacity.

The PILE DRIVING ANALYZER system conforms to ASTM D4945 and many other codes and specifications. The PDA software suite, consisting of PDA-W with iCAP, PDIPLOT and PDICURVES, outputs reports that satisfy ASTM 4945 requirements.

Pile Dynamics recommends that all those who perform dynamic tests using the PDA take the Dynamic Measurement and Analysis Proficiency Test offered by PDI and PDCA, and/or the High Strain Dynamic Pile Testing Examination offered by Foundation QA (FQA). Read about need for quality testing.

The PILE DRIVING ANALYZER system may also be used to determine the energy transferred to SPT rods.

The PAX is patented under the Remote PILE DRIVING ANALYZER system US Patent No. US 6301551.