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FHWA R&T Now - September 2013
A news update of research, technology, and development from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
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FHWA Launches RD&T Agenda Web Site
FHWA recently launched a Web site for its research, development, and technology (RD&T) agenda. The Web site offers stakeholders an easily accessible, high-level overview of FHWA’s RD&T program and presents FHWA’s research and technology (R&T) agenda from two perspectives; one that concerns national RD&T challenges and one that concerns strategic RD&T objectives.
The Web site explains how FHWA’s research and program offices jointly address the six major, national-level highway R&T challenges facing the United States. These challenges include advancing highway safety, enhancing system performance, improving the mobility of people and goods, maintaining infrastructure integrity, promoting environmental sustainability, and preparing for the future.
The Web site also presents FHWA’s R&T research program by traditional discipline and topic areas—infrastructure, operations, safety, policy, planning and environment, Federal lands, exploratory advanced research, and innovative program delivery—and describes how each office’s strategic objectives drive their respective R&T portfolios.
“We see the FHWA R&T Agenda Web site as a critical element in our efforts to make the R&T program more transparent and receptive to the needs of the States and other stakeholders,” says Michael Trentacoste, FHWA’s Associate Administrator for Research, Development, and Technology.
The Web site is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/fhwaresearch/agenda. For more information, contact John Moulden, 202-493-3470, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workshop Focused on Aging of Composites
In coordination with the National Science Foundation (NSF), FHWA’s Office of Infrastructure R&D and EAR Program convened a 2-day workshop that featured leading engineering scientists and design engineers in the field of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials for highway infrastructure. Understanding the durability response of composite materials in terms of their degradation mechanisms is vital for the safe and economical field implementation of FRPs. The workshop, which was by invitation only, was held at the National Transportation Safety Board Training Center in Ashburn, VA, September 25–26, 2013. The main objective of the event was to identify possible new methods for understanding the aging and durability behavior of composite materials and to establish a research, development, and evaluation program dealing with durability and design issues by leveraging the collection of longitudinal performance data funded by NSF and others.
For additional information about the workshop, contact Lou Triandafilou, 202-493-3059, email@example.com. For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technologies to Help Vision-Impaired Pedestrians Find their Way
FHWA’s EAR Program is sponsoring research on “Intelligent Situation Awareness and Navigation Aid for Visually Impaired Persons” to develop an assistive system for blind and severely visually impaired citizens so they can navigate and travel independently. The study is being completed in two phases. Phase I will explore assistive navigation technologies to provide blind or visually impaired people with obstacle avoidance and intelligent wayfinding capabilities in indoor environments. Phase II will extend the research to outdoor pedestrian environments to provide blind users with waypoint navigation, path planning, and advanced warning of special events.
More information is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/resources/visionimpaired.cfm. For questions about the research, contact Mohammed Yousuf, 202-493-3199, email@example.com. For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fact Sheet: Creating Productive Roadways: Developing an Advanced Energy Production, Storage, and Distribution System
Using the public right-of-way and roadway infrastructure as a source for energy production, storage, and distribution is the goal of “A Roadway Wind/Solar Hybrid Power Generation and Distribution System: Towards Energy–Plus Roadways,” an EAR Program study awarded to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The project aims to develop an intelligent power system that can provide cost-effective, highly efficient, and reliable renewable electric power production, storage, and distribution.
A fact sheet discussing the project is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/advancedresearch/pubs/12063/index.cfm.
For more information about the project, contact Eric Weaver, 202-493-3153, email@example.com. For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fact Sheet: Next Generation Vehicle Positioning and Simulation Solutions—Using GPS and Advanced Simulation Tools to Improve Highway Safety
This fact sheet discusses two projects—“Integrated Global Positioning System and Inertial Navigation Unit (GPS/INU) Simulator for Enhanced Traffic Safety” and “Next Generation Vehicle Positioning in GPS-Degraded Environments for Vehicle Safety and Automation Systems”—awarded under the EAR Program. The projects are investigating key technological factors: high-precision vehicle positioning and advanced traffic simulation and evaluation tools.
The fact sheet is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/advancedresearch/pubs/13065/index.cfm.
For more information on the project, “GPS/INU Simulator for Enhanced Traffic Safety,” contact James Arnold, 202-493-3265. For more information on the project, “Next Generation Vehicle Positioning in GPS-Degraded Environments for Vehicle Safety and Automation Systems,” contact David Gibson, 202-493-3271, email@example.com. For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, firstname.lastname@example.org.
TFHRC Open House Features Intelligent Compaction and Sustainable Pavement Technologies
On September 3 and 5, 2013, FHWA’s Office of Infrastructure R&D held an open house at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to explore intelligent compaction and sustainable pavement technologies.
Researchers displayed intelligent compaction construction equipment and demonstrated its use in the construction of research test pavements. They installed an intelligent compaction retrofit instrumentation kit on a double drum asphalt roller and a single drum soil roller.
FHWA is implementing intelligent compaction technology through the second round of its Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative, which aims to deploy innovation that can shorten project delivery, enhance roadway safety, and protect the environment.
The full-scale pavements that are being constructed at TFHRC’s Pavement Test Facility are designed to provide recommended limitations for combining increased recycled content with reduced temperature warm mix asphalt production (an initiative of the first round of EDC).
Those participating in the event included FHWA’s Eastern Federal Lands; FHWA’s Office of Infrastructure; the Virginia Department of Transportation and FHWA Division; the Washington D.C. Department of Transportation and FHWA Division; the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO); and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). Partners included Virginia Paving Incorporated; Caterpillar Incorporated; Alban CAT; SITECH; and Trimble.
Indoor presentations were recorded as part of ARTBA’s Local Transportation Virtual Conference program and can be accessed via www.lotransvirtualconference.org/artba. For more information on intelligent compaction activities, contact Richard Duval, 202-493-3365, email@example.com. For more information on the Sustainable Pavement Accelerated Pavement Testing Experiment, contact Nelson Gibson, 202-493-3073, firstname.lastname@example.org.
LTPP InfoPave Released for User Review and Input
The Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program’s recent efforts to develop a new Web-based user interface program to disseminate the vast resource of LTPP data and information has taken form and is now being released for user review and input. During this beta testing phase, the LTPP program invites State engineers and managers to explore all of the benefits LTPP InfoPave has to offer.
LTPP InfoPave can be accessed at www.infopave.com. For more information, contact Debbie Walker, 202-493-3068, email@example.com.
FHWA Releases 2013 Version of Interactive Highway Safety Design Model
On September 30, 2013, FHWA released version 9.0.0 of the Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (IHSDM), a suite of software analysis tools for evaluating safety and operational effects of geometric design decisions. The new version includes a Crash Prediction Module (CPM) that provides a faithful implementation of the AASHTO’s Highway Safety Manual (HSM), Part C: Predictive Method. It includes a Beta version of crash prediction capabilities for freeway ramps, collector-distributor (C-D) roads, and ramp terminals, which are based on draft HSM materials developed under National Cooperative Highway Research Project 17-45. The CPM also covers two-lane rural highways, multilane rural highways, urban and suburban arterials, and freeway segments. Another highlight of the CPM is the Calibration Utility, which was developed after 2011 and has been added to the IHSDM Administration Tool (Admin Tool). The Calibration Utility, intended to assist agencies in implementing calibration procedures described in the Appendix to Part C of HSM, features step-by-step instructions and hands-on exercises illustrated in a tutorial lesson. IHSDM includes five other evaluation modules applicable to rural two-lane highways: policy review, design consistency, intersection review, traffic analysis, and driver/vehicle.
The software is available for free download at www.ihsdm.org. For more information, please contact Clayton Chen, 202-493-3054, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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