Closed-loop snowplow applicator control using road condition measurements

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2 Scopus citations


Closed-loop control of a snowplow applicator, based on direct measurement of the road surface condition, is a valuable technology for the optimisation of winter road maintenance costs and for the protection of the environment from the negative impacts of excessive usage of de-icing chemicals. To this end, a novel friction measurement wheel is designed to provide a continuous measurement of road friction coefficient, which is, in turn, utilised to control the applicator automatically on a snowplow. It is desired that the automated snowplow applicator deploy de-icing materials right from the beginning of any slippery surface detected by the friction wheel, meaning that no portion of the slippery road surface should be left untreated behind, as the snowplow travels over it at a reasonably high speed. This paper describes the developed wheel-based measurement system, the friction estimation algorithm and the expected performance of the closed-loop applicator system. Conventional and zero velocity applicators are introduced and their hardware time delays are measured in addition to the time delay of the friction estimation algorithm. The overall performance of the closed-loop applicator control system is shown to be reliable at typical snowplowing speeds if the zero velocity applicator is used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-638
Number of pages14
JournalVehicle System Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • road condition measurement
  • snowplow
  • truck
  • tyre-road friction
  • vehicle-infrastructure interaction


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