New Role of Thermal Mapping in Winter Maintenance with Principal Components Analysis

Mario Marchetti, Lee Chapman, Abderrahmen Khalifa, Michel Bues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
117 Downloads (Pure)


Thermal mapping uses IR thermometry to measure road pavement temperature at a high resolution to identify and to map sections of the road network prone to ice occurrence. However, measurements are time-consuming and ultimately only provide a snapshot of road conditions at the time of the survey. As such, there is a need for surveys to be restricted to a series of specific climatic conditions during winter. Typically, five to six surveys are used, but it is questionable whether the full range of atmospheric conditions is adequately covered. This work investigates the role of statistics in adding value to thermal mapping data. Principal components analysis is used to interpolate between individual thermal mapping surveys to build a thermal map (or even a road surface temperature forecast), for a wider range of climatic conditions than that permitted by traditional surveys. The results indicate that when this approach is used, fewer thermal mapping surveys are actually required. Furthermore, comparisons with numerical models indicate that this approach could yield a suitable verification method for the spatial component of road weather forecasts—a key issue currently in winter road maintenance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Meteorology
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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