Intelligent Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) on Canadian Winter Roads

by Alexia Ferrari | Updated: 06/25/2020 | Comments: 0

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Update - October 10th, 2017: Campbell Scientific Canada's intelligent Road Weather Information System, WeatherBrain, is now available! Learn more about how WeatherBrain optimizes your winter road maintenance program!

An Innovative RWIS that automates decision-making

Campbell Scientific Canada (CSC) is pleased to announce its intelligent Road Weather Information System (RWIS) in collaboration with the city of Magog, Quebec.

To better monitor Magog’s 550 km of roadways during the winter, Magog and Campbell Scientific Canada have established a pilot project using an RWIS system that monitors roadway weather conditions across the municipality. The intelligent RWIS automates decision-making by analyzing the incoming data and providing actionable recommendations to the municipality. CSC installed the RWIS stations throughout the municipality in December 2016 and the pilot project is set to run for two years. CSC is responsible for the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the stations, as well as equipment calibration.


Goals of Magog's Road Weather Information System

The goal of the advanced road weather system is to better monitor and track local weather conditions across the municipality and potentially contribute to a larger network of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). The systems gather and analyze real-time, local meteorological data, which keeps managers informed and enables them to appropriately maintain roadways based on up-to-the-minute, accurate data. Currently, the stations collect data on snow thickness (on and off the roadways), air temperature, and dew point. In the past, Magog had to rely upon more general sources of data that were not always applicable to local conditions.


SMART RWIS and the future of Intelligent Transportation systems (ITS) 

Data collected is automatically analyzed according to the programs specified by the municipality, and then sent to users in real-time through a cloud data portal. Campbell Scientific Canada provides managed data services for test sites by collecting, hosting, and sharing data, while also providing basic QA/QC analysis and recommendations based upon data. 


In alignment with CSC’s core purpose of ‘always striving to make the best measurement possible,’ the project hosted by Magog will serve as a test of the innovative roadway monitoring equipment. The needs of the municipality will be aligned to the data collected by updating and altering measurement equipment and programming as required. At the end of the two-year trial period, the intelligent RWIS system will be equipped to monitor and advise on meteorological data throughout the year, not just in the winter, and may integrate with future traffic programs such as variable speed limits.


Implementing RWIS in Canada

Five other Quebec municipalities, including Sherbrooke and Austin, have recognized the value in this first-of-its-kind pilot project and have set up intelligent RWIS stations to start gathering local meteorological data of their own. To ease the implementation and set-up of the intelligent weather systems, CSC equipment has been designed to integrate with existing systems, sensors, and service providers. Campbell Scientific Canada has in-depth knowledge and extensive experience with these integrations, and plans to expand their RWIS network across Canada to increase roadway maintenance efficiency, and significantly improve roadway safety across the country.


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About the Author

alexia ferrari Alexia Ferrari is a technical writing consultant for Campbell Scientific Canada (CSC). She assists with writing manuals, technical documents, and industry articles. Alexia is the published author of On Fracking, and her work has also appeared in Alberta Oil magazine, Meteorological Technology International magazine, and the Global Chorus anthology.

View all articles by this author.


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