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Intelligent road weather system launched

Understanding real-time weather conditions and its effect on the road surface is crucial in allowing national and regional road authorities to ensure safe and smooth traffic management and maintenance operations. Weather impacts road transportation throughout the year, caused by different phenomena such as snow and ice, heavy rains, fog, high winds, and sand storms. Traditional road weather observation systems are designed to conduct measurements on prevailing road surface conditions and transmit data messages to the central control center. Roadside weather stations usually consist of a variety of sensors to collect atmospheric information and data on current road conditions, depending on the operator’s requirements and prevalent climatic conditions.

Vaisala is launching an entirely new Road Weather Station (RWS), the RWS200, which, when combined with the Finnish company’s RoadDSS Software suite, is able to offer an intelligent Road Weather Information System (iRWIS). The complete system consists of intelligent roadside hardware making its own decisions, and sophisticated decision support software, and improved measurement reliability. The key component of the intelligent road weather system is the RWS200 weather station, which has been designed with the future of road weather and ITS in mind. The RWS200 processor contains several sophisticated algorithms that bring in raw data from the pavement sensor, and by using other atmospheric information, can create better calculations of surface conditions. The RWS200 is also equipped with its own battery and includes smart power management to ensure reliable data collection, even when power supply becomes unstable. The RWS200 also uses state-of-the-art sensors that are accurate and reliable in the most demanding weather conditions, which all help to improve decision-making and reduce costs, while offering greater operational efficiency.

The new iRWIS system is flexible, from the scalable software systems to the RWS200 station, allowing agencies to deploy exactly the hardware they need. It can be combined with Vaisala’s cloud-based RoadDSS suite of software systems, providing road operators with a resilient method of display and storage, while allowing access to information and data from any location at any time. “We are excited to offer our customers the latest industry leading road weather technology,” said Antero Järvinen, director of Vaisala’s road and rail division. “The iRWIS is all about providing end-to-end solutions that are intelligent, flexible, and reliable, so that our customers can keep their roads moving smoothly through any weather condition.”

June 17, 2014

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