Automated Vehicle Location, Data Recording, Friction Measurement and Applicator Control for Winter Road Maintenance


Gurkan Erdogan, Lee Alexander, Rajesh Rajamani

February 2010

Report no. Mn/DOT 2010-07

The first part of this project conducted a detailed evaluation of the ability of a new friction measurement system to provide an accurate measure of road conditions. A system that records friction coefficient as a function of road location was developed using the same vehicle location measurement system as the current MDSS project. Studies conducted show that the friction measurement system provides a significantly more reliable measure of road surface conditions than does visual inspection. The second part of this project focused on a detailed evaluation of the performance of a closed-loop system that utilizes friction measurement for automatic applicator control. Experimental studies have shown that a friction measurement based zero velocity sander can adequately apply salt/chemicals to all slippery spots on a road at speeds up to 25 mph. The final part of this project focused on enhancement of the developed automatic applicator control system with utilization of real-time data from a geographical information system that provides information on upcoming geometric road alignment and known problematic segments of roadway. The developed friction measurement, data recording and applicator control system is compact, modular and can be used on both snowplows and pick-up trucks.

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