InTrans / Dec 29, 2020

Filling the Gaps Using Mini-RWIS

Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) are important technological tools that aid operations and maintenance personnel in making cost-effective and informed decisions. However, the size, cost, and required maintenance of a full RWIS can limit the number of stations transportation agencies are able to install.

A Mini-RWIS station is similar to a traditional ESS but without the need for an AC power connection or complex siting requirements that accompany a larger ESS which typically has a 30 foot tower and large concrete foundation. A Mini-RWIS station runs on a 10W solar panel in a small enclosure, and mounts on any 2 inch diameter pole.

The modularity of a Mini-RWIS station allows transportation agencies to efficiently pinpoint sites where additional focused monitoring is required for local dangers like flooded roadways, crosswinds, visibility, or high traffic incident location. The ease and simplicity of mounting a Mini-RWIS also allows it to be used for temporary installations for public works projects or seasonal conditions like burn scar monitoring.

By filling the gaps in existing networks, Mini-RWIS increase the value of existing road condition models by expanding their ability to provide the high-resolution forecasting for accurate decision making.

Mini RWIS unit: Photo provided by John Markham of Campbell Scientific Inc