85th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 11 January 2005: 9:15 AM
Development of the Clarus Concept of Operations: Status report
Leon F. Osborne Jr., Meridian Environmental Technology, Inc., Grand Forks, ND; and S. M. Conger, J. S. Pol, and P. Pisano
The establishment of a nationwide near real-time road weather observation system to support the broad needs of various surface transportation users and operators is presently under early design by the Federal Highway Administration.. The initial development of the Nationwide Surface Transportation Weather Observing System (project name Clarus) is focused on a Concept of Operations that will provide the framework for further Clarus development phases.

The principle goal of Clarus is to provide timely and accurate weather observation data seamlessly across State and jurisdictional boundaries for the management and operation of the surface transportation infrastructure. A primary concept to the understanding of the problem is how the deployment, operation, and funding of Clarus potentially alters the paradigm of current RWIS. The development and design of a national road weather observation system represents a change in philosophy and operation of RWIS that will provide a valuable resource for the continued evolution of surface transportation weather services.

To be successful, the Clarus Concept of Operations must adequately defined a strategy to solve problems that have historically plagued integration of multiple RWIS data sets at agency, regional, and national levels including the issues of data ownership and access restrictions, liability concerns, data transmission latency, data quality control, and system costs. The development of the Clarus Concept of Operations requires the involvement of all stakeholders in discussions of institutional issues, system needs and desired operational capabilities. This stakeholder participation requires ongoing dialog and public discussion that builds a consensus vision of the role of Clarus in supporting users within the surface transportation community and beyond. This paper provides a status report of the effort to construct the Clarus Concept of Operations and provides a mechanism to promote a broader participation by the weather community.

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