The Phase 1 – PCS Total Monitoring Station Demonstration Project, during the winter of 2005 and 2006 at three locations along Highway 21 near Kincardine Ontario, successfully demonstrated; the use of 1xRTT commercial data radio communications, the use of solar power and illustrated a definite co-relation between quantifiable visibility readings from the road side sensors and driving conditions.
The conclusions of the project are that the technology worked well and that the TMS’s are a useful tool for research into the co-relation between visibility, traffic conditions and human observations of road conditions. However, it was also concluded that the system was not ready for operational deployment due to a user interface which was not designed to provide a user friendly operator interface with integrated video. As well, in order to continue the research aspects an additional sensor, specifically an anemometer to measure wind speed was required. It was recommended that an algorithm be developed in order to calculate a “visibility index” using data from a variety of sensors.
It was recommended that the system be upgraded to meet the operational requirements; replace “loaned” equipment and incorporate the recommended additional sensors in order to continue research during the winter of 2007 and 2008. As well as providing a base for additional visibility research; this will allow the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to investigate whether the TMS would be a valuable component to a modern motorist advisor and road closure system.
The following activities will be conducted by the Consultant:
This activity includes: Liaison with MTO SWR, MTO ITS Office and Transport Canada, Prepare progress reports for ENTERPRISE, Co-ordination with suppliers, Management of Delcan staff, QA/QC according to ISO requirements, Scheduling and financial management
System design includes two main components. The first is to update the design of the system in terms of hardware and software configuration, relative to the demonstration project. The other component is to define the users / operators requirements in terms of screen layout and functionality. This will involve review by; and discussions with MTO SWR Operations centre as well as the OPP.
The final equipment required to meet the new requirements will be selected. This will be procured by Delcan and integrated with the existing ATC’s. This setup and hardware integration will be conducted by Delcan in its equipment lab.
Additional equipment required includes equipment which was previously on loan and has been returned; and new equipment required to meet the new functionality. Specifically the equipment required is:
- low light dome cameras
- video encoders to convert the analog camera output to digital IP
- anemometers at each location to measure wind speed
- a digital power meter at one of the locations to measure the actual power used in order to accurately size the batteries and solar cells in the future
- additional serial input / outputs to connect the additional sensors
- real time operating system for the controllers (QNX)
- a new wireless modem to replace the one which was previously damaged.
The existing software in the field controller and in the server needs to be updated to: provide a new graphical user interface, interface with the new sensors and the development of the algorithm which will determine the “visibility index”. The activities include:
- Software design for the new components
- Software development and testing of the updated ATC software
- Development of a new browser based graphical user interface to incorporate the requirements of an operational system (refer to Operational Requirements below) and provide a link from MTO’s RWIS Server’s web page
- Software updates for the central server and development of the algorithm to co-relate wind speed and visibility to generate the “visibility” index. A link to the RWIS Server will also allow weather and pavement conditions from appropriate RWIS to be considered. The algorithm will consider the rate of change of the data as well as the current measured values. The parameters of the visibility index can be adjusted through the GUI to improve performance over time. To develop the algorithm data collected during the demonstration project will be utilized.
- Software integration and testing
- Provide support to the implementation team during system integration and testing.
Field Work Supervision
This activity includes providing instructions to the electrical contractor and assistance to SWR’s maintenance and operations forces. It also includes inspection during the field installation and documentation of the installation.
Integration and Testing
Integration and testing involves testing the entire system in Delcan’s lab, integration with the components in the field and testing in the field. It is composed of the following steps
- Factory acceptance testing which will test all of the functions and the hardware in Delcan’s lab
- Integration of the three stations and central computer once the field equipment is installed
- Site acceptance testing which ensures that the hardware and software operates correctly in the field.
Data Collection and Evaluation
Once Integration and Testing are completed data can be collected and the algorithm tested and adjusted under winter conditions. This activity consists of the following tasks:
Develop evaluation criteria in consultation with MTO and OPP
Review the output of the algorithm, the visibility index, and compare it with the recorded images and field observations
Meet with users to obtain observations and inputs
Adjust parameters to refine the output of the algorithm to reduce false alarms and missed events
Prepare a report to document the results of the project
Schedule and Deliverables
The following products will be delivered from this project:
|September to November 2007||Consultation MTO ITS Office, SWR /Region |
Develop Proposal and Cost Estimate
|January 7, 2008||Approval to Proceed & Initiate Procurement|
|February 18, 2008||Procurement & Field Software Development Complete|
|March 3, 2008||Field Installation & Commissioning Complete|
|March 10, 2008||Operational Test Period & Initial Data Collection Complete|
|March 17, 2008||Acceptance & On Line Operations|
|April 13, 2008||2007/08 Winter Data Collection Complete|
|April 21, 2008||Progress Report Complete|
|December 23, 2008||Final Data Collection Complete|
|February 17, 2009||Final Evaluation Report Complete|