ELTEC, Mid American Signal, Telvent, and KDOT Collaborate on ITS Project
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Most ITS devices are powered by the com-mercial power grid. KDOT in Wichita, Kansas used photovoltaic power for 17 temporary traffic detector installations throughout Sedgwick County. All were erected in the fall of 2008.
Telvent, who is overseeing the data collection for KDOT, will use the traffic data to establish a baseline before highway im-provements are implemented (alternative route; accident signs; 511 accident reporting, etc.) The impact can then be measured after traffic management upgrades.
KDOT used the existing infrastructure to minimize costs. Solar panels could not be mounted on existing poles due to wind loads. Mid American Signal came up with the ‘side-of-bridge’ solar panel mountings.
ELTEC sized the systems based on the load requirements guaranteeing sufficient power. The sophisticated sizing program accounts for power generated at that latitude as well as the number of sunny and cloudy days in the Wichita area. The system was not over sized or under sized. It has operated for a year without any incidences.
The data collection will last approxi-mately 18 months or until the new ITS project is completed, after which some of the self contained ITS solar powered systems will be integrated into the cen-trally controlled system and others will be moved and installed at new study areas using existing components.
For more information contact ELTEC at 800-227-1734 or email@example.com or Mid American Signal at 913-432-5002 ext. 4 for Jordan Schwening or: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solar Powered Camera Monitoring in Corpus Christi, Texas
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Border and port moni-toring is vital to Amer-ica’s security. In Sep-tember ’05 a Homeland Security Grant was is-sued to the TxDOT of-fice in Corpus Christi, Texas. The funding was used to increase port security by moni-toring all ferry and ve-hicular traffic traveling from the mainland to the City of Port Aran-sas/Mustang Island. Normally a 45 minute drive, the ferry ride is less than 10 minutes. Additionally, all cargo ships are observed to ensure that the “float-ing roadway” stays open/has no problems. This is critical with two naval bases close by.
Working with the lo-cal TxDOT represen-tative, Electrotechnics a.k.a ELTEC designed a 24/7 solar powered camera system. Out of 21 cameras 17 are solar powered (two are 24 VDC with the remain-ing cameras powered by 12VDC.) The pan-tilt-zoom cameras all have heaters to prevent condensation with cool weather as well as main-tain a minimum temperature when it becomes cold.
The cameras communicate several different ways to a central monitoring center: radio link to communicate across the channel via Ethernet, and fiber interface to a video switch.
Lightning strikes are a major problem in the area. The decision was made to use solar power for lightning immunity. No copper cable was used; thus eliminating any connection between the pole/device in the field and the switching equipment in the building. Also, the TxDOT office wanted to demonstrate that cameras could run without interruption on solar power. The system has not had a loss of load due to inadequate power confirming the system works with the camera load. This now allows remote regions without readily available AC power to utilize the proven system.
For more information, contact Susan Marshall at ELTEC: 800-227-1734 or Sales@elteccorp.com
TxDOT Over-height Truck Detection
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TxDOT More Efficient With Wireless Overheight Truck Detection
Overheight Truck Detection The Yoakum District TxDOT Office was responsible for maintaining the “ding-a-ling” over height truck warning system in Columbus, TX, on Interstate 10 between San Antonio and Houston. When a truck’s trailer hit the 12” yellow & black striped tubing suspended on a cable across the road, the sound alerted the driver that their vehicle was too high for the 14’ 5” overpass. In theory, if you hit the tubes, you’ll hit the overpass. According to Randy Zimmerman, Traffic Shop Supervisor, the line “was always sagging, so a bucket truck was dispatched monthly to adjust the cable holding the ding-a-lings” to maintain the proper height. This work was in addition to re-hanging the cable if an over height load snagged the cable and tore the system down.
ELTEC specializes in solar powered wireless systems and their integration into warning and caution system, including over height detection. The solution developed for Columbus & TxDOT provides accurate and reliable detection utilizing a red/infrared beam that initiates flashing beacons when broken, alerting the driver that the truck is over the allowed height. The detection device senses direction of travel, activating only for approaching vehicles and not those having exited the interstate and driving away from the overpass. There have been no functional problems or required maintenance since the ELTEC system was installed, saving time and money for TxDOT.
To discuss how to improve your traffic operation’s effectiveness and safety, contact ELTEC: 800-227-1734/Sales@ elteccorp.com or peruse www.ELTECCORP.com. Or contact your local ELTEC dealer.
ELTEC INSTALLS SOLAR POWER TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEM FOR RESTRICTED 1-LANE ROAD ACCESS
ELTEC designed and installed a solar power system that controls traffic entering a restricted traffic area. Vulcan Mining in Richmond, VA approached ELTEC to design a system that would control trucks passing from a 2-lane road to a 1-lane road. In the middle of the 1-lane section there’s a bridge and a blind S shaped curve that trucks drive across and through. Drivers could not see trucks entering the 1-lane restricted road at the other end. Consequently a number of near collisions have occurred and a lot of time backing-up loaded mining trucks created difficulties.
Management wanted a traffic control system that would allow trucks from one end of the restricted road to enter while stopping trucks at the other end until the 1-lane was clear of all trucks. Since power was not readily available the system had to be solar powered. The system was designed to operate from 6 AM to7 PM six days per week.
ELTEC used radar sensing to detect an approaching truck at one end of the 1-lane restriction. This truck was given a green light and allowed to proceed into the restricted lane road.
At the same time, a wireless signal was sent to the beacon at the other end causing the beacon to turn red and stop traffic from entering.
If another truck entered from the same end as the first truck, the system allowed the second truck to follow the first truck as indicated by the green light. Both trucks proceeded safely over the bridge and through the S curve. Only when both/all trucks were clear of the restriction were trucks waiting on the other end allowed to enter.
The process was then reversed. That is, trucks waiting at the other end (red light) now had a green light while trucks at the opposite end had a red light.
When not in use, the default on the beacons is blinking red at both ends, confirming the system is functioning as designed. When activated by a truck, the LED changes to solid red at the other end and green for the truck to proceed.
In summary, the restricted lane control allows access from only one end at a time and locks out access from the other end when a truck(s) is in the restricted lane.
This system has completely fulfilled the requirements of Vulcan Mining and has eliminated near collisions and accidents. Further the system has enhanced operations by eliminating the need for the massive mining trucks to back-up in the restricted 1-lane area to allow another truck to proceed.