Module 11 - A313a
A313a: Understanding User Needs for ESS Systems Based on NTCIP 1204 v04 Standard
HTML of the Student Supplement
(Note: This document has been converted from the Student Supplement to 508-compliant HTML. The formatting has been adjusted for 508 compliance, but all the original text content is included, plus additional text descriptions for the images, photos and/or diagrams have been provided below.)
A313a: Understanding User Needs for ESS Systems Based on NTCIP 1204 v04 Standard
Table of Contents
1. Module Description
This module is based on recently released NTCIP 1204 v04 (May 2016) standard that covers Environmental Sensor Stations (ESS) and Road Weather Information System (RWIS).
The purpose of this updated module (previous module was based on v03 of the standard) is to incorporate necessary changes such as new ESS user needs/requirements and ESS test procedures provided in recently (May 2016) completed work on NTCIP 1204 Standard v04 and reorganized documentation from the previous v03. The module provides participants with information on how to identify the appropriate use of the latest NTCIP 1204 Standard v04 and acquire an ESS system based on what the user is seeking to accomplish; and provides participants with information on how to identify user needs. The focus in this module is placed on Understanding ESS User Needs.
ESS Related Training Modules and Pre-requisites
Agencies preparing a project specification for Environmental Sensor Stations (ESS) based on NTCIP 1204 v04 will need to consult the following three updated sequential modules:
2. Introduction to ESS and NTCIP 1204 ESS Standard
Environmental Sensor Stations (ESS) are ground -based or pole mounted sensors that collect base level raw weather data from roadways sections or region and transmit data to a central or field location where they are used as part of a Road Weather Information System (RWIS). The module will provide a brief background on RWIS/ESS and show how agencies use weather information to make decisions and issue advisory to motorists and stakeholders.
NTCIP 1204 v04, an NTCIP standards publication, identifies and defines how a management station may wish to interface with a field device to control and monitor pavement sensors, weather stations, air quality sensors, and other equipment related to the monitoring of and response to environmental conditions in an NTCIP-conformant fashion. NTCIP 1204 v04 uses only metric units. NTCIP 1204 v04 provides definitions of data elements for environmental sensor data, including weather data, pavement condition data, water level data, and air quality data. NTCIP 1204 v04 defines requirements that are applicable to all NTCIP environments and it also contains optional and conditional sections that are applicable to specific environments for which they are intended.
How and Why Agencies Use ESS
Transportation system managers use ESS in a variety of ways to improve transportation system operations. The primary uses of ESS data support the following:
ESS are used to collect information about road and weather conditions, such as precipitation and air and surface temperatures. With the data returned by this ESS, transportation system managers can determine when there are incipient hazardous travel conditions because of precipitation, fog, high winds, snow, ice, and/or flooding. When travel is becoming hazardous because of snow and/or ice, transportation system managers can dispatch road maintenance crews to treat the roads and remove snow and ice if possible.
The following example of ESS user needs is provided in Section 2.
Using ESS with other ITS Devices such as a DMS
Transportation system managers can also use ESS in conjunction with other Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) devices, such as Dynamic Message Signs (DMS-NTCIP 1203 v03), to advise travelers of poor travel conditions or to notify travelers of travel policy changes because of bad weather. For example, foggy conditions could trigger a DMS to display a lowered speed limit in a
high-speed area. Snow and ice conditions could trigger a DMS to display a requirement for travelers to use chains on their tires. Icy conditions on bridges or roadways can also lead to the triggering of a spraying device that sprays anti-icing or de-icing chemicals on bridge or roadway surfaces to improve driving conditions. High water or high wind conditions could trigger a DMS to display a message either recommending that travelers choose a different route or that they reduce their speed to protect themselves against the potential hazard.
Although transportation system managers are the normal users of ESS, the data from these ESS are sometimes used by emergency management personnel. For example, when flood conditions occur, regardless of their extent, emergency management personnel use data on the depth of water in areas covered by ESS to determine how and when to respond to flooding. Emergency management personnel re-route travelers from flooded areas, in some cases by deploying (in conjunction with transportation system personnel) signs indicating that sections of road are closed because of flooding.
A transportation system manager may also be interested in using an ESS to measure air quality. This data can be used to monitor concentrations of certain chemicals to ensure that they do not exceed toxic levels. For example, tunnel systems frequently use sensors to ensure that carbon monoxide levels stay within safe levels. The data can also provide a valuable resource to air quality management systems to determine the accuracy of predictions. Finally, some research has suggested that air quality hot spots could be monitored to encourage traffic to avoid these areas during problematic periods.
How ESS is deployed: RWIS Architecture Example
The RWIS architecture includes the hardware, software, and communications systems necessary to provide reliable road weather data to support operation and maintenance of roadways.
Fixed Locations: An ESS is typically deployed along the roadside as part of a network of sensors that report their findings to a central management system. The ESS data received at the central system is processed to provide the transportation system manager with intelligence about road weather conditions that can trigger operator action. For example, high wind conditions might trigger a warning to travelers; if the high wind conditions are severe or in an area where they constitute a high risk, they might trigger the closing of a bridge or a section of roadway. Likewise, a network of ESS may also be used to provide the transit system operator information about conditions that affect the health or safety of transit riders. The processing logic could be rather simple (e.g., monitoring high winds) or very complex (e.g., predictions of weather conditions on or near the road). In the latter case, the ESS data would likely serve as one of many inputs; others might include data from the national weather service and other sources.
Transportable and Mobile ESS: However, ESS can also be deployed on a vehicle or a transportable platform (such as on a trailer). Usually, these ESS are atmospheric sensors or pavement sensors, gathering information about snow and ice conditions, pavement conditions, and similar data designed to provide the transportation system manager with information about conditions along a
particular section of roadway. The data from mobile ESS are used to complement those from stationary ESS also deployed along the transportation network.
Recent natural disasters and flooding events in the country have also raised additional utilities and deployment interest in ESS and the following section outlines what is possible in this area.
2.1. ESS Standard's Relationship to the ITS National Architecture
NTCIP 1204 v04 addresses eight (8) National ITS Architecture Flows associated with the operation of an ESS. These flows are:
3. Case study: Understanding How to Use Protocol Requirements List (PRL)
PRL is a first step toward achieving a successful ESS system that is conformant to the ESS standard and ensuring an interoperable system that works as desired. Every ESS procurement specification must incorporate a PRL that meets project user needs.
Readers are directed to familiarize with the structure of the ESS PRL and learn how to prepare a project level PRL.
The PRL provided under Sections 3.3.3 map the user needs defined in Section 2 to the requirements defined in Section 3. The following example illustrates how a Project Level PRL can be developed.
User Needs Column (user simply maps local project need to one in standard)
The user needs are defined within Section 2 of the NTCIP 1204 v03 and the PRL is based upon the user need sections within that Section. The section number and user need name are indicated within these columns. As seen in above PRL, 184.108.40.206 User Need ID and Monitor Winds form a pair that sets the tone for rest of the activities.
Requirements Column (user has NO role in Picking Requirements, standard has done that part)
The requirements are defined within Section 3 and the PRL references the traces from user needs to these requirements. The section number and functional requirements name are indicated within these columns.
Conformance Column: M-mandatory user need must be selected, Optional-O must be selected if project function demands it, and support must be checked YES in next column.
Support / Project Requirements Column
The support column can be used by a procurement specification to identify the required features for the given procurement or by an implementer to identify which features have been implemented. In either case, the user circles the appropriate answer (Yes, No, or N/A) in the support column.
The PRL table can be used by:
4. Sample List of ESS User Needs (shown without Requirements)
The following project level PRL sample is followed by a full PRL Table is a stripped version of Table 6 taken from NTCIP 1204 v04, page 29 shows how ESS user needs are accumulated by developers and organized in the document format. ESS is complete standard and this list covers range of potential user needs by any type of field deployments.
Project Level ESS PRL (users can ONLY add rows; columns cannot be changed).
(Extended Text Description: Author's relevant description: Key Message: What is a PRL? This slide presents the structure of a PRL, as mapping table and shows rows and columns organization.
The text "Agency prepares a customized project PRL by selecting YES" points to the 7th row of Support.
(Extended Text Description: Author's relevant description: Example PRL is shown below, with the 2.4, 220.127.116.11, F.1.1.1, and F.1.2.1 rows highlighted with arrows, plus the first three rows highlighted with a red box:
NOTE: ALL Mandatory M User needs must be selected YES to conform to standards, Optional-O may be selected YES if the local project has identified optional needs.
5. References to Standards
1. Which of the following is NOT a Correct Statement Related to the ESS Standard?
2. Which of the following is NOT Part of the ESS Standard?
3. Which of the following is NOT a correct approach to preparing the project PRL?
4. Which of the following is a False Statement related to an ESS specification?
8. Icon Guide
The following icons are used throughout the module to visually indicate the corresponding learning concept listed below, and/or to highlight a specific point in the training material.
1) Background information: General knowledge that is available elsewhere and is outside the module being presented. This will be used primarily in the beginning of the slide set when reviewing information readers are expected to already know.
2) Tools/Applications: An industry-specific item a person would use to accomplish a specific task, and application of that tool to fit the need.
3) Remember: Used when referencing something already discussed in the module that is necessary to recount.
4) Refer to Student Supplement: Items or information that are further explained/detailed in the Student Supplement.
5) Example: Can be real-world (case study), hypothetical, a sample of a table, etc.
6) Checklist: Used to indicate a process that is being laid out sequentially.