Road Weather Information System – RWIS

The Road Weather Information System consists of the hardware, software, and communications interfaces necessary to collect and transfer road weather observations from the motorway to a display device. The original purpose of RWIS was to deliver information about winter weather conditions to the highway maintenance services, however the current system is programmed to detect and monitor a variety of road conditions impacting road operation and maintenance.

RWIS contains meteorological sensors, pavement condition monitoring equipment, and both hardware and software for communication capability. Stations are usually located near motorways to help transportation managers make more informed operational decisions.

The Weather Sensor System consists of a series of complex components and sensors installed within or alongside a roadway. MSS is an automatic weather station for supervising and controlling the climatic conditions of road networks. . 

The Weather Sensor System provides data output to satisfy a number of road weather monitoring, detection, and prediction requirements. It collects data via GSM and distributes it via intranet or internet so that road network staff can review results online.

RWIS software module provides interactive access and corresponds to highway maintenance services requirements:

  • 24/7 access for multiple users via intranet or internet
  • 24/7 data collection and transferring via GSM or landline broadband
  • Alarms via SMS or e-mail, for multiple recipients and using multiple criteria
  • GSM communication even the most remote locations
  • Sensor plug and play connections
  • Resistant to all types of weather conditions
  • Reinforced protection against lightning and hazards
  • Low maintenance costs and no systematic technical maintenance
  • Visual inspection and cleaning can be completed by entry level personnel
  • Remote maintenance eliminates unnecessary field work

Specialized software for the monitoring of weather and pavement sensor data that assists users in observing how the weather is currently affecting the motorways and provide short term predictions.

For example, highway maintenance managers may benefit from such a system during snowstorms by making decisions with regard to the optimal number of maintenance vehicles and road workers needed, whilst selecting appropriate treatment chemicals, utilizing anti-icing equipment and properly timing maintenance activities.  

Traffic managers can use road weather reports to modify traffic signal timing, reduce speed limits or even close hazardous roads or bridges.

The Weather Sensor System sensors categorically provide information to identify roadway weather conditions and data collected from the The Weather Sensor System through the RWIS which is then transmitted to a central processor.  

Road weather information provided by the RWIS is used to activate automated warning systems and provide decision support to managers in traffic management centers, road maintenance facilities, and emergency operation centers.

By monitoring road weather conditions using pavement sensors, highways maintenance personnel can understand how well their winter maintenance strategies are performing or determine what additional action may be necessary to take in the near future.

Pavement sensors can provide data on rain, snow, ice or flooding, pavement chemical concentration, pavement freeze-point temperature and pavement temperature.

Water level sensors can be deployed in areas that may be at risk of flooding.

Auxiliary sensors, such as webcams and laser surface quality sensors can help monitor and detect events resulting from water-related conditions.

Atmospheric sensors are located above road level and can be used to identify such conditions as:

  • air temperature, 
  • wind speed and direction, 
  • precipitation,
  • humidity, 
  • atmospheric pressure
  • visibility.