The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 093 [Completed (IDEA)]

Advanced Traffic Sensor for Work Zone and Incident Management Systems
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This project developed and tested a portable advanced relocatable traffic sensor (ARTS) system based on microwave radar technology and wireless communication for improving the accuracy and effectiveness of work zone ITS systems (Figure 1). The system components included Doppler microwave radar, digital compass, solar portable power system, GPS positioning subsystem, satellite packet data terminal, palm-size single board computer, and electronic interface board. The components were designed or purchased and integrated into a compact prototype system that satisfied the requirements for portability, low cost, self-power, built-in satellite communication links, self-diagnostics, self-configuring, modularity, and ability to provide accurate measures of traffic counts, speed, volume, and headway. Laboratory tests using a tuning fork to simulate vehicle speeds were performed that validated the satellite communications and speed data acquisition aspects of the system. Limited field tests were performed to test the satellite communications and speed acquisition in actual traffic. Observed data accuracy and communications transmission durations of a few seconds provided encouraging indication of the potential for using ARTS in real time applications for work zone safety and incident management applications. However, further improvements, such as using ultraband radar instead of Doppler microwave transceiver, and hardware enhancement to reduce the system’s size and additional field tests are needed before it can be implemented by highway agencies. The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB2005-109517).

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