Development of Wind Alarm Systems for Road and Rail Vehicles: Presentation of the WEATHER project
The development of a new concept of wind alarm systems for road and rail transportation is presented. The alarm is funded on a risk assessment approach, taking into account wind modelling and prediction, aerodynamic forces, vehicle dynamics.
The effects of high winds on road and rail vehicles have become of increasing concern to transportation system operators. Cars, high-sided lorries, as well as trains, can be at risk of a wind-induced accident on exposed sites such as embankment, or long span bridges.
For example in the “Burns Night storm” that affected the UK on 25th January 1990, there were 390 accidents to high sided vehicles that resulted in injury or death and a much greater number that resulted in insurance claims.
Wind alarm procedures, based on a scientific probabilistic approach, are currently in use in the railway transportation, for instance for the TGV Mediterranee in France.
In road transportation, while a number of bridges have adopted vehicle restriction measures, it appears that there is a degree of arbitrariness concerning those ruling. In the 6th Framework Program (FP6) for the European Research, a CRAFT project has been granted by the European Commission whose aim is to develop an innovative “Wind Early Alarm system for Terrestrial transportation, Handling the Evaluation of Risks” (WEATHER project).