Snowmaking: WTI staff held a snowmaking event in February to check and tune the snowmaking equipment. Based on data from this event, the fan guns will be updated with new weather stations and nozzle upgrades to make snow more consistently and efficiently at temperatures slightly below freezing. Snowmaking equipment upgrades will be completed by next winter.
Data Tower: Instrumentation boxes and conduit have been installed on the data tower. Pending good weather, a camera and antennas will be installed on the tower along with a server, DVR, and other network equipment in the shop in the coming weeks. A wireless connection between the shop network and the weather station will also be established.
WTI personnel completed the third Field Operational Test for the Caltrans Establishing Best Practices of Snow and Ice Removal research project. Similar to previous tests for this project, chemicals were applied late in the afternoon with air and pavement temperatures above freezing. Once the pavement temperature fell below freezing, snow was applied and compacted overnight using the Transcend snowmaking system and a smooth drum compactor. Test sections were evaluated early the next morning by measuring bond shear strength and roughness.
Washington State DOT donated two Halliday RT3 friction trailers to Transcend and one was recently installed on a truck. The friction trailer will be used this winter to provide quantitative friction measurements during testing.
The Transcend Advisory Committee met on February 24, 2010 via the web to review the history of the facility as well as projects underway and the current status of facility development. The Advisory Committee provides guidance on potential research opportunities as well as serving as a sounding board for research ideas and the usefulness of the research for practitioners.
WTI researchers initiated a “Black Ice” event for the Pacific Northwest Snowfighters. The goal of this event is to evaluate the duration corrosion inhibitors last when applied to pavement in anticipation of frost or black ice. Applications of three inhibited chloride chemicals were sampled immediately after application and will continue to be sampled for the next seven days in order to quantify the presence of the corrosion inhibitors. The behavior of these chemicals, applied side by side, relative to changing air and pavement temperature and humidity will also be observed during the week.
WTI crews completed the first Field Operational Test for the Caltrans Establishing Best Practices of Snow and Ice Removal research project. Chemicals were applied late in the afternoon with cold air and pavement temperatures. Snow was applied and compacted overnight using the Transcend snowmaking system and a smooth drum compactor. Test sections were evaluated early the next morning by plowing, photographing and measuring friction on the test sections.
Transcend researchers acquired portable lighting equipment and additional snow removal equipment to facilitate snow making and winter research. The portable lighting equipment is used for nighttime snowmaking operations. Typically, it is easier to make snow during the night because the surface and air temperatures are more stable which creates a more consistent product.
Researchers installed another animal detection system in the test bed. This is a break-the-beam system that uses microwave radio signals. It is the third generation system manufactured by ICx Radar Systems (formerly STS). As an above ground system, it uses microwave radio frequencies which are transmitted by a transmitter on one end of the testbed to a receiver placed on the other side of the testbed. When the animal interrupts the microwave radio signal by walking through the beam, a detection is noted. Like the other systems being tested the date and time of each detection is recorded and cross referenced to the infrared camera images that show the locations of the animals, allowing the researchers to investigate the reliability of the system. This system sends the detections via a wireless link to a computer in the research trailer at the test bed where the data are stored in detection files. This system, along with the MagalSenstar system will be investigated for its reliability in different seasons and weather conditions through the coming year. Contact Marcel Huijser.
November 2009 — Researchers tested the reliability of the MagalSenstar animal detection system. The livestock contractor delivered 6 animals (2 horses, 2 llamas, and 2 sheep) to the test site and a test was initiated on November 18 2009. The tests lasted for 10 consecutive days after which the animals were removed from the enclosure. The livestock contractor checked on the animals once a day, and made sure the animals were fed and had access to water. The animal detection system logs are currently being compared with the camera images to investigate the reliability of the system. Similar tests will be conducted in other seasons to investigate if environmental conditions affect system reliability.
This particular system has also been installed along U.S. Highway 160 between Durango and Bayfield, Colorado. Using the same system in a controlled site (Transcend) and a real world site (Highway 160) creates a unique opportunity to study the reliability and feasibility of deploying animal detection systems by state DOT’s. Colorado DOT is a research partner on this project. For more information on this project please visit 4w2421.