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Biral showcases meteorological equipment at UK highways show

First publishedin World Highways
October 2016

Meteorological specialist Biral recently exhibited its range of advanced weather and visibility sensors at the Highways Management Show in Coventry, UK

Biral, set up in 1975, works with companies and organisations across all industries, including road and transportation, to deliver solutions to monitor visibility and local weather conditions as part of smart road systems and intelligent transport networks. Biral said that its VPF and SWS Visibility and Present Weather Sensors ranges are particularly beneficial to highways applications due to their highly reliable and accurate readings. These sensors can be used to warn motorists of roadside fog, limited tunnel visibility, bridge conditions and general meteorological issues. The correct precautionary information can then be given to road users, such as adjusting carriageway speed limits and issuing fog and reduced visibility warnings.

Biral noted that its SWS range is especially well suited to highways applications as its combination of serial and analogue interfaces can assist with local signage control and can be directly connected to a wider network. The sensors are also used indirectly, to monitor pollution levels in tunnels and control the ventilation systems.

They can also act as secondary fire detectors in tunnels due to their sensitivity to smoke particles. The VPF and SWS ranges have been used for an extensive range of applications, some exceeding 20 years, which proves the reliable performance and durability of the equipment. The company also exhibited a range of products from German manufacturer Adolf Thies, for which Biral is the exclusive UK distributor. This range includes meteorological sensors for relative humidity, temperature, air pressure, radiation, wind speed and direction and precipitation. Biral said that its own products sit alongside those of Thies to offer the complete range of meteorological measurements required by local, national and governmental level authorities across the UK transport network. To this end, Biral is developing a Road Weather Information System (RWIS) to be launched next year. The system will combine all of the key meteorological measurements into one compact, reliable and easy to install and use system.

Biral has also developed equipment with the ability to accurately monitor the movement of lightning. The company said that its BTD-300 Thunderstorm Detection system can detect a lightning strike to a range of 83km. The stand-alone unit warns of approaching thunderstorms and reports back to the control centre, giving operators enough time to safely shut down or postpone operations until the system has detected the strike to have safely passed.

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