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Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

2020-02

START DATE

06/01/20

END DATE

05/31/22

SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration Aurora Program Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF-5(435))

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Xuan Zhu

Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Utah

Co-Principal Investigator
Xianfeng Yang 

Assistant Professor (Transportation Engineering), Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Utah

About the research

The research aims to develop a convenient tool that is capable of conducting multi-lane roadway temperature mapping and pavement slippery condition evaluation in winter seasons. With the adoption of infrared and video cameras, the proposed technology will provide accurate and robust measures of road surface temperature and slippery conditions for winter weather severity index evaluation.

The research outcomes include 1) an automated infrared-based data acquisition system and 2) a dual-sensory road temperature and slippery condition evaluation system. Furthermore, the team will evaluate the feasibility of machine learning-empowered ice/snow detection algorithms. A series of field experimental tests will be conducted to obtain sufficient real-world data with the developed prototype for technology development and performance evaluation. 

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

2020-04

START DATE

09/01/20

END DATE

08/31/21

SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration Aurora Program Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF-5(435))

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Gerry Weiner

Engineering Deputy Director, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Co-Principal Investigator
Laura Fay

Research Scientist, Western Transportation Institute, Montana State University

About the research

States often use road friction measurement devices as guidance for snow removal activities. Since these devices are costly, they are typically situated at a select set of key locations. Sometimes states will use both stationary and mobile friction sensors coming from different manufacturers. In such cases, analogous readings from the different sensors will typically disagree leading to uncertainty as to how the measurements should be interpreted. As a result, a methodology is required to standardize friction measurements from multiple manufacturers to a common scale. Once the friction measurements are standardized, it would be helpful to use the friction measurement history in establishing a methodology for estimating road friction at highway locations that are outside normal friction coverage areas.

The first goal of this research is to determine the relationship between weather conditions and friction measurements as observed in the laboratory. The second is to standardize friction measurements coming from multiple friction sensors for identical weather conditions and pavement types. The third is to check whether the relationship between weather and friction found in the lab is analogous to the relationship between weather and friction found in practice on highways. The fourth and final goal is to model road friction using weather conditions to predict road friction at sites where measurements may not be available.

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