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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Upgrade of South Dakota RWIS Installations
Project Researcher: Bob Hart,
Project Manager: Dave Huft
Research Period: -
Status: Approved
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) operates 39 Road and Weather Information System (RWIS) installations throughout the state. These RWIS installations measure surface weather conditions, such as temperature, wind speed and direction, and precipitation; pavement conditions, such as temperature, wetness, and chemical freezing point; and subsurface conditions, such as temperature. RWIS observations inform a number of the Departments key functions, notably winter maintenance, traveler information, and imposition of spring load restrictions.

Because most of the RWIS installations have been installed for many years, they are generally in need of upgrade and repair. Some sensors are inoperative and some are obsolete, unable to reliably detect the presence and concentration of currently used deicing chemicals. Remote Processing Units (computers) located at the installation sites and Central Processing Units located in the Departments four region offices have likewise become obsolete in both hardware and software. None of the sites support modern National Transportation Communication Interface Protocols (NTCIP). Finally, the functionality and closed architecture of the proprietary system limits the Departments ability to access and use its surface weather and road information effectively.

Research is needed to accurately assess the condition and capability of SDDOTs existing RWIS installations and recommend cost-effective improvements, either through upgrades available from the current RWIS vendor or through partial or complete replacement with other commercially available components.


Research Objectives:
1  To assess the condition of SDDOT's existing RWIS installations.
2  To select the most cost-effective long-term strategy for upgrading.and enhancing SDDOT's RWIS system.
3  To deploy upgrades and enhancements statewide.

Research Tasks:
1  Conduct a statewide inventory of SDDOT's existing RWIS sites to determine their location, configuration, and operating condition.
2  Define the desired geographical location and functional capability of RWIS sites and information bases necessary to support the Department's winter maintenance, traveler information, and load limit activities
3  Develop specifications and cost estimates for upgrading or replacing existing RWIS sites to achieve the desired geographical location and functional capabilities through three distinct approaches-acquisition from the current RWIS vendor, partial repl
4  Prepare a technical memorandum recommending a preferred approach that best accomplishes the upgrade within available funding levels.
5  Acquire, install, and validate the installation of upgrade components at RWIS sites throughout the state.
6  Prepare a final report summarizing methodology, findings, conclusions and recommendations.
7  Make an executive presentation to the project's technical panel and provide electronic copies of the presentation material to participating states.

Documents Available:

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