Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Let the wind blow

Advanced real-time testing and novel technology have conspired to create a sophisticated warning system for cars and trains in extremely windy conditions.
Let the wind blow
Road vehicles and trains are generally impervious to gusty winds that are common to European weather. Unusually high winds, however, can be strong enough to derail a fast train or cause a car to veer outside its lane.

The EU-funded project 'Wind early alarm system for terrestrial transport handling evaluation of risks' (Weather) worked on a novel wind alarm system for trains and road vehicles. The system was conceived to estimate wind power and risk to the vehicle on susceptible tracks or roads.

To achieve its objectives, the project team conducted wind experiments involving spatial-time wind models and prediction models for an advanced alarm system. It then elaborated methods to pinpoint aerodynamic coefficients, including wind forces such as cross winds on vehicles through wind tunnel experiments, field measurements and computational fluid dynamics. The project then successfully built a comprehensive database of aerodynamic coefficients to help develop an effective wind warning system.

This was followed by identifying ways to evaluate accident risks at exposed sites due to an excess of wind. Once Weather's components were satisfactorily developed, the project team designed a prototype which it tested in the Maremola viaduct in Italy. The prototype was successfully tested in live conditions, opening the road to product exploitation in the market and safer transportation in extreme wind conditions.

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