Hinsdale, Illinois: Testing of radar system reported

8 Nov

The performance of a microwave radar system for vehicle detection at a level crossing in Hinsdale, Illinois, was evaluated through field-testing in favourable (normal, good) weather conditions. The system was installed at a crossing of three railway tracks and used two radar units aimed at the crossing from opposite quadrants.

The performance of the system was assessed in terms of false calls, missed calls, stuck-on calls, and dropped calls, using datasets collected in favourable (good) weather conditions. First, the system performance was assessed using the initial setup. In the initial setup, the most frequent error type was false calls (0.55%), mainly the result of activations caused by pedestrians and cyclists in the crossing; followed by missed calls caused by one of the
radars missing a vehicle (0.07%). These results were shared with the product developer to see whether he wanted to make any modification to the initial setup.

In the modified setup, the detection zones and the aim of one of the radars were changed. Then, the system performance was evaluated. Results for the modified setup showed an increased frequency of false calls (0.96%), mostly the result of activations generated by moving gates and also by pedestrians. Missed calls in the modified setup were slightly increased to 0.09%, and they were due to one of the two radar units missing a vehicle. There were no missed calls when the system relied on the two radar units because at least one of the two always detected the vehicles occupying the crossing. The system did not generate any stuck-on or dropped calls in the selected data for both the initial and the modified setup in favourable (good) weather conditions.

Additional testing is under way to evaluate the system in adverse weather conditions, including snow-covered roadways, rain, fog, and wind.

The study, funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation was undertaken by the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

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