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S.TAMILVENTHAN1 & M.PRADEEP2 PRE FINAL YEAR – ECE, PAVAI COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY, NAMAKKAL email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Water and ice detection over road and runway surfaces is important to improve traffic safety and to reduce maintenance costs. An innovative low cost capacitive sensor was developed to estimate the dry, wet, or icy state of surfaces. The reliability and repeatability of the indications of the sensor were investigated in a previous work based on simulations and experiments in laboratory, together with a preliminary short test in the field. This work is devoted to the study of the indications of 4 sensors (standard or bituminized) during continuous data acquisition in the field (at the Turin Airport) lasted 8 months. The indications of different sensors were highly correlated. As one important problem when measuring in the field is due to dirt and salt spread over the road, a preliminary study on the effect of different salt concentrations in the water covering the surface of the sensor was performed. Both simulations and laboratory tests showed that the sensor is not affected by the presence of salt in the water. Considering data measured in the field, the estimated condition of the road provided by the sensors was found to be consistent with the METAR (METeorological Aerodrome Report) message of the Turin Airport, for the whole period of investigation. Correlation was found between data from the sensors and rain, fog, and snowfall. The beginning formation of ice identified by the sensor was found to be in some agreement with the indication of a mathematical model of ice prediction from meteorological data.
The possibility of using the indications of the sensor together with weather data to train an algorithm providing a more precise prediction of ice formation is discussed.
Investigation of road condition is important in many different fields, for instance to alert people walking on walkways or to enhance traffic safety on roads . The assessment of the environmental conditions on road and runway surfaces is attracting increasing attention, as it may significantly contribute to reduce maintenance costs of highways and airports . Indeed, accurate indication on road pavement condition helps agencies to efficiently plan the maintenance (especially during winter), to reduce wear on the vehicle fleet, to decrease chemical, sand and salt usage, and to provide a better level of service by applying anti-icing practices. A Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) consists of specialized weather stations that provide information on road surface conditions and weather forecast . The investigation of pavement conditions (dry, wet, or icy condition of the road or runway) can support a RWIS, when integrated with other important data, such as atmospheric measurements (e.g., air temperature and humidity, visibility distance, wind speed and direction, precipitation type and rate, cloud cover, lightning, air quality), water level data (stream, river and lake levels near roads) and other pavement data (temperature, freezing point, chemical concentration).
Contamination of water was not investigated in . Unfortunately. Many systems are available for the investigation of the presence of ice on a surface [2. 19. Weather conditions in airports are usually reported in the form of a METAR (METeorological Aerodrome Report). Moreover. in turn. the output of the sensor when covered by a ionic solution is investigated considering both a simulation model and experiments in the laboratory. the relative permittivity of water is substantially .Thus. Two out of four sensors were covered by bitumen (bituminized sensors). and on the relative permittivity and thickness of the material placed between the electrodes. there is the need of developing sensors to be embedded in the road or runway pavements to recognize the presence of water and ice on their surfaces. which is a system supporting management and safety of a large airport during winter events . rain). so that neither diaphragms nor vibrating probes can be used). which are the followings: local measurement (optical methods are excluded). 12. robustness (the sensor must resist to the pressure of trucks or aircrafts or chemical substances. Hence. wind velocity and direction) together with considerations about the observed weather condition (visibility. The capacitance of the electrode assembly depends on the geometrical configuration and dimensions of the surfaces of the electrodes. and high accuracy (not dependent on the contamination of the water). and decreases in the range of approximately 2 kHz to several hundred kHz. low power consumption (neither piezoelectric nor inductive coupling probe). cloud cover. 6. 15. which is a coded message indicating the most important weather data (e. low cost components (optical fiber technology is excluded). The relation between the relative permittivity of water or ice and measurement frequency is shown in Fig. these systems do not fulfill all the requirements of the application of interest. 5. 18. 2. Methods 2. 16]. temperature. using both a mathematical model for the simulation of the system and experimental results. humidity. On the other hand. Description of the Sensor The sensor consists of a multi-frequency capacitance measurement system [13. 1 for specific values of temperature. depends on temperature and measurement frequency .1. This work is devoted to the assessment of the robustness of the sensor in terms of stability in providing reliable indications during continuous data acquisition in the field (at the Turin Airport) lasted 8 months. The consistency of the indications of the sensor with the observed weather condition of the METAR message provided by the Turin Airport was assessed. some considerations about the correlation between weather data and state of the surface of the sensor are provided. The relative permittivity of ice is substantially constant within a range from DC to about 1 kHz. 10. The relative permittivity. an innovative sensor based on a capacitance measurement was introduced to detect water and ice on exposed surfaces . was discussed and some preliminary experiments in the field were conducted for a short period .g.. The application of the sensor within an Airport Winter Information System (AWIS). Moreover. 4. for the in the field experiments. As one of the main problems in taking measures in the field is the presence of salt spread over the road to avoid ice formation. four sensors were embedded in a secondary street close to the runway at the Turin airport. pressure. with special attention to the weather data during ice formation and the relation between relative humidity and variation of the measured capacitance of the sensor. The accuracy and reliability of the indications provided by this new detection system were assessed in .
Both the electrodes arrangement and the circuitry are implemented on a printed circuit board using commercially available low powermcomponents. on the left). Arnite was chosen because its relative permittivity is nearly constant within the range of temperature and measurement frequency in which the sensor is used. Simulations were performed using a mathematical model of the sensor which extends the one developed in . at low (200 Hz) and high (20 MHz) frequencies. Instead. The sensor consists of a pair of concentric conductive electrodes (with geometry indicated in Fig. while the relative permittivity of air is different from the others. The sensor is shown in Fig. which constitute the sensing device. ice and air by two capacitive measurements.constant up to approximately 100 MHz and decreases within the range from 200 MHz to 10 GHz. at low frequencies (lower than 1 kHz) the relative permittivities of water and ice are similar. 2.). The device also comprises an internal temperature sensor to account for the variations of the relative permittivity with temperature. . where the ions contribute as a source term. The transfer charge circuit includes a sensing capacitor (the pair of concentric conductive electrodes). The sensor is based on a microcontroller (an 8051 core from Silicon Laboratories Inc. 16]. Ions are present only in the ionic solution and satisfy continuity equation. 2. Effect of Contaminants in the Water The effect of contaminants in the water was investigated considering both simulations and experiments in the laboratory. describing Arnite. while the relative permittivity of water is different from the others. it is possible to distinguish between water. A layer of Arnite was mounted over the sensor electrode. and air. Therefore. which protects the circuitry from infiltration of water or chemical agents . Potential satisfies Laplace equation in the Arnite and in air (as no ion is present there) and Poisson equation in the ionic solution. at high frequencies (between 100 kHz and 100 MHz) the relative permittivities of air and ice are similar. Thus. which accounts for their diffusion and transport within the electric field generated by the external potential. 2. The relative permittivity of air can be assumed equal to 1 and constant for all frequencies. and a transfer charge circuit for capacitance measurement [13. on the right. and a charge detector. The only exposed parts are the Arnite covering the sensor (on the top) and the connector for the power supply of the circuitry and for the connection to a data acquisition system (on the bottom). The sensor was included in a metallic box filled with resin. a ionic solution (modelling a solution of water and NaCl). An automatic calibration procedure is included in the ice sensor to prevent an error in the data due to parasitic capacitances.2. for protection purposes. The model includes the electrode assembly and three planar layers over it. a frequency generator.
The Turin airport is coded as LIMF in the METAR database. Transmission required a time period which was not predictable. or snow. Data from METAR METAR is a format for the transmission of weather data (temperature.188.8.131.52. etc. Signal Processing Data were first interpolated in order to be defined on the same time samples. The observed weather conditions were grouped in 4 classes. due to the GPRS system. Experimental Data 2. The variations of capacitance measured by the sensor are abrupt in case of raining or snowing conditions. a smaller effect is registered in case of foggy conditions (Fig. Results 3. pressure. Capacitance at both high and low measurement frequencies were sampled every minute and transmitted to an internet database. . rain. via GPRS connection using a GPRS module (MultiTech System – MTSMC-G-F4 module). Data from January 2010 to September 2010 were used for the comparison with the indication provided by the sensors. METAR data are on-line available for nearly every airport in the world . B (standard) and C. but sometimes a pair of data is sampled with 10 minutes delay).3. The icy state provided by the sensors were correlated with the following prediction algorithm: ice forms on the ground if the air temperature is lower than 0 °C and the absolute difference between air temperature and the dew point is lower or equal to 1 °C. The observed weather conditions given by the METAR database were interpolated with a nearest neighbour approach. Reports are generated about twice an hour (sampling period is usually 30 minutes. 4). snow. with period of 1 minute. respectively. In the field test was performed over a period of 8 months. The first three observations were correlated with the wet state provided by the sensors. dew point. so that the time in which a data was taken was also saved. are considered). and solar radiation) together with considerations about the observed weather condition (sun. General Considerations on the Relation between Sensor Output and Weather Conditions Relative humidity oscillates with lower values during the day with respect to those measured in the night. fog. fog. Data from the ice sensors and weather data were linearly interpolated. snowfall and none of the above.3.2. These sensors a referred to as sensors A.1. close to the end of winter. Correlation was estimated between the state provided by each sensor and the information of the observed weather condition provided by the METAR system. Fig. Data Recorded in the Field In the field tests were performed on four sensors embedded in a secondary street close to the runway at the Turin-Caselle airport. 3 shows that the values of capacitance measured by the sensors oscillates in phase with the oscillations of relative humidity (some days during march. quantity of rain falls. fog or snowfall stopped. 2. correlation was estimated only within periods in which the METAR indications were rain. D (bituminized) in the following. cloud cover. 3. 2.). METAR data form the Turin airport were collected in the database provided by . designed in MySQL. humidity. Since the road remains wet also after rain. wind velocity and direction. indicating rain.
R. we focused on the capability of the sensor to provide reliable indications when used in the field for a long period. Toulouse. . R. 2005. Vol. Here. Felch.. E. H. Issue 7. in Proceedings of the Symposium on the Agrometeorology of the Maize (Corn) Crop.. Shaw. L. Ferroelectr. IEEE Trans. Barbero. pp. Role of the diffuse layer of the ionic charge on the impedance spectroscopy of a cell of liquid. Different sensors provided highly correlated information. and A. The sensor may be a useful tool to support information systems assuring security and efficient maintenance of roads or airports during winter. Ames. Kawano and J. 943– 949. 56. Big Sky. Issue 2. and R. USA. in Proceedings of the IEEE Aerosp. 5-9 July 1976. Discussion This paper investigates the performance in the field of a sensor which monitors continuously the condition of a road pavement. sponsored by WMO andhosted by Iowa State Univ. The sensor is not sensitive to dirt and contaminants present over the road surface. .Conclusions Four innovative capacitive sensors were embedded in a road at the Turin airport to monitor pavement condition in the field during continuous acquisition lasted 8 months. 32. Thompson. it provided information consistent with the METAR message for the whole period of study. Kudoh. Rose. L. E. Montana. Moreover.. Alexe-Ionescu. 2009. Conf. G. 334–344. Baier. Four-dimensional histogram method for sea ice detection using NOAA AVHRR images. Ultrason. The sensor was already investigated both with a simulation model and with experiments in . W. where the reliability and repeatability of its indications were assessed. France. Freq. . . . K. Liquid Crystals. References . C. Vol. 2003. The presence of water or ice on the road is identified by the sensor based on a multi-frequency measurement of capacitance with a cheap and efficient technology .. pp. Ice detection and classification on an aircraft wing with ultrasonic shear horizontal guided waves. Bassey and G. Gao and J. 2007. L. Agrometeorology of the maize (corn) crop. M. Aircraft ice detection using time domain reflectometry with coplanar sensors. Control. in Proceedings of the IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS). H. Simpson.
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