Two highway authorities recently selected the Edinburgh firm Findlay Irvine to install ice warning systems, citing software as having influenced their decisions. The new software is menu-driven and very user-supportive. Switching between different displays, from one out-station to another and from current to historical data, is all carried out by use of the cursor. The most interesting displays are still the forecast graphs received from the Meteorological Office with the actual road surface temperature superimposed. There is a continuing debate on whether the forecaster should be asked for a pessimistic as well as a realistic forecast. The greatest problem faced by any forecaster seems still to be the accurate prediction of cloud cover, which has a dramatic effect on road surface temperatures and thus is relevant to the evaluation of thermal mapping as a night-by-night tool for identifying when and where to grit. To operate this tool, the forecaster must specify not just the minimum night temperature for a particular station but the weather condition over a sizeable area in which this station lies. The ice warning system then uses the appropriate "thermal footprint" to project the minimum night temperature over the highway network within that area. An instrument which may prove of use in the calibration of thermal maps is the Thermocheck, the latest addition to the Findlay Irvine ICELERT family. This is a simple, temperature only out-station with memory for a year's data. Since the cost of Thermocheck is approximately one-tenth that of a conventional out-station, Thermochecks can be deployed relatively liberally. Stored data can be downloaded into a Microscribe or a Husky and thence into a PC. Current readings can also be collected by any passing vehicle (up to 70 mph) equipped with the appropriate receiver/display. Highway authorities are using GripTesters for friction testing roads made slippery not by ice but by wear and warm weather. The GripTesters users' group is converting GripNumbers to SCRIM readings.

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    D.R. Publications Limited

    Faversham House, 111 St James Road
    Croydon, Surrey CR9 2TH,   England 
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  • Publication Date: 1990-3

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  • Accession Number: 00493724
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 30 1990 12:00AM