Power Sources for Automatic Traffic Recorders

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) currently completes traffic counts, classification counts, and speed counts using a number of sources. These include road tube counters, permanent Automatic Traffic Recorder (ATR) stations, permanent Automatic Detector Recorder (ADR) stations, weigh-in-motion sites, and portable ATRs, specifically using Wavetronix SmartSensors. All of these detection methods require power, but the needs vary greatly depending on the type of detection system. The permanent stations utilize hard wired or "grid" power from local power companies. The cost of this can vary but getting onto the power grid is deemed to be worth the effort and cost to have a reliable source of power for locations that will be collecting data every day of the year for many years, such as at permanent ATR and ADR stations. The tube detectors require much less power and are typically only set out in the field for a few days up to two weeks. The power obtained from the unit batteries is enough to supply the units for the needed time periods. The Wavetronix units are typically set out in the field anywhere from a week to a few months. Many locations in which these units are used in Minnesota don’t have access to the power grid, so they must use batteries, which must be changed quite often. A portable power system is essential in such places to run portable Automatic Traffic Recorders. The objective of this study is to gather information on what other State DOTs are using for power sources for these types of applications. Then, these practices can be implemented in Minnesota if they are different. Additionally, other portable sources of power will be researched for possible use in Minnesota.


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  • Accession Number: 01601699
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: May 31 2016 1:14PM