At this year’s ITS World Congress, which takes place in Vienna, Austria 22-26 October, Navtech Radar will be demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of using radar to monitor and improve safety on road networks and at critical infrastructure such as tunnels and bridges.
Continuing poor economic conditions in many parts of the world mean that many roads authorities are left to wrestle with the issue of how to make constrained or shrinking budgets go further. In many instances, radar might just be the solution. The technology is now a credible alternative to CCTV and loops for applications such as Automated Incident Detection (AID), with reference sites and trials having proved both its all-weather capabilities and extremely low false alarm rates, says Navtech’s founding partner Steve Clark.
“The performance capability of radar, even in extremely challenging visual conditions, is now proven beyond doubt but we’ve also worked very hard over the last couple of years to make the costs of procurement and operation very competitive,” he continues.
“On a system-for-system basis, radar now compares well with CCTV. But once radar’s performance characteristics are taken into account the balance starts to tilt more and more in radar’s favour. A single radar system can see farther, and in 360o. Our TS350-X can detect a man-sized object out to a radius of 350m, for instance, which typically means that fewer individual systems need to be procured to accomplish the same task.
“And radar’s reliable; our systems offer a Mean Time Between Failure [MTBF] rate of 75,000 hours. That’s over eight years of continuous service.”
Once in use, the cost savings continue. With radar there is no lens to clean, as with a camera. That means fewer potential road or infrastructure closures for cleaning, which results in significant safety benefits from an operators’ perspective, indirect economic benefits in the case of congestion and the local economy and – in the case of tolled roads and facilities – direct economic benefits as a result of uninterrupted operations.
“We’ve also increased radar’s utility,” Clark continues. “Its use for AID is now complemented by applications for monitoring tailgating and illegal lane changes. More applications will follow. This is all part of our efforts to enrich the feature set and reduce overall the number and variety of systems needed to ensure safe, effective operations at any given point on the road network, and to bring both capex and opex costs down.”
Navtech manufactures and supplies both the front-end radar systems for traffic monitoring applications and the sophisticated back-end processing solutions needed to make sense of what is detected in a timely fashion. For AID and other applications radar can be used to trigger PTZ cameras whilst still continuing with the wide-area surveillance task, and the company’s products are readily integrated with those from other manufacturers. This greatly simplifies deployment and further increases utility and flexibility.
The company’s range can be seen on the ITS-UK National Pavilion at this year’s World Congress.