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Applications for the Environment Real-Time Synthesis Broad Agency Announcement Project: Design for Environmental Data Capture System

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Thursday, September 23, 2010
End Date: 
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
FHWA Program: 
Operations, Intelligent Transportation Systems
TRT Terms: 
Environment; Energy; Emissions; Greenhouse Gases; Intelligent Transportation Systems; Research; Operations
FHWA Discipline: 
Subject Area: 
Environment, Operations and Traffic Management, Research

Contact Information

First Name: 
(202) 493-3045
Email Address: 
Program Management
Office of Operations Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Abstract: 

The purpose of this project is to examine the relevance of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Clarus and Michigan Department of Transportation's Data Use Analysis and Processing (DUAP) data, and their core system designs, to the needs of the Applications for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis (AERIS) Program, and to recommend a Preliminary System Development Plan for an AERIS data environment.  Clarus and Data Use Analysis and Processing (DUAP) represent state-of-the-art data acquisition tools. The Clarus system emphasizes data collection from fixed environmental sensor stations (ESS), but is currently being enhanced to incorporate data from mobile sources, such as snow plows. DUAP focuses on the collection of data from mobile sources, particularly connected vehicle fleets, but also acquires data from fixed roadway traffic sensors. Between the two systems, sophisticated real-time data quality checking algorithms have been implemented; techniques for integrating data from multiple disparate sources have been developed; real-time data visualization tools have been created; and applications that translate raw data into actionable information for the benefit of system users have been designed and implemented.Since the Clarus and DUAP systems are operational and significant investment has already been made, the intent of this project is to determine how Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) can leverage these assets and leapfrog some of the normal system development cycle. This report covers the following material to arrive at a recommended Preliminary System Development Plan.


The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Clarus and Data Use Analysis and Processing (DUAP) programs can serve as models for Applications for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis (AERIS) in the development of a data environment.

Project Outputs: 

The Clarus and Data Use Analysis and Processing (DUAP) systems illustrate the potential for creating a data environment for Applications for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis (AERIS). Based on the development lessons from those systems, there are a number of compelling reasons for establishing an AERIS data environment. An AERIS data environment:Provides the ability to acquire environmental datasets from both fixed and mobile sources and stores the data together with the associated metadata.Provides the ability to acquire and associate other, related datasets that provide context to the environmental data or support the development of applications.Provides the ability to perform a variety of quality checks on the environmental data and to make the results of the quality checks available to system users.Provides the ability to store and manage the acquired environmental data in a single location and to share it with other larger data acquisition and management systems, such as the proposed Research Data Exchange (RDE).Provides the ability to process the data using appropriate algorithms to provide applications or enhanced datasets that meet user-defined needs, or to share the data with other systems through which external users can develop and implement their own applications.Provides the ability to manage access to the data or the resulting applications by users, including the provision of appropriate user rights management, data retrieval tools, and visualization tools.These reasons are effectively the high-level system objectives that would help guide a preliminary system development approach.