Research Scientist, Western Transportation Institute, Montana State University
About the research
This project presents the laboratory findings from an evaluation of the Lufft MARWIS and the Teconer RCM411 sensors. The study focused on each sensor’s ability to detect water film/ice depth (testing occurred at 28°F and -20°F), friction (testing occurred at 28°F), surface temperature (testing occurred at 28°F), and road condition/surface state (testing occurred at 28°F).
The objectives of this project were to evaluate the ability of the Lufft MARWIS and Teconer RCM411 sensors to perform in a typical winter maintenance environment, investigate the sensors’ sensitivity to varying chloride concentrations, assess the repeatability of data and the sensors’ mechanical reliability, and evaluate each sensor’s state of development and cost to purchase, install, and maintain. The laboratory testing simulated real-world conditions of snow, ice, and/or slush on pavement, trafficking, and plowing and assessed how each sensor performed with the addition of each of these variables and detected the change in pavement condition/deicer performance throughout winter maintenance operations. The testing conditions were ideal in that they were consistent and reproducible.
For both sensors, the response time for data reporting was almost immediate (0 to 4 seconds), and the sensors detected greater water depth on the concrete samples than on the asphalt samples. Based on the performance of the road condition rating (MARWIS) and surface state rating (Teconer RCM411) features, it is safe to say that for both sensors this feature is a dynamic tool that can be used to determine the road condition remotely.