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NTCIP 1204

8th Edition, October 2009

Complete Document

National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocol - Environmental Sensor Station (ESS) Interface Protocol

Includes all amendments and changes through Errata , September 2014


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VER. 03.08 * SEE ALSO NTCIP 1200 SET
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Referenced Items:

ISO/IEC 8824-1
ISO/IEC 8824-2
NTCIP 1101
NTCIP 2001

Product Details:


Description / Abstract:

Environmental sensors include a wide array of sensors, including those that monitor weather, roadway surface, water level, and air quality conditions. These sensors are typically connected to a nearby microprocessor termed a remote processor unit (RPU). An environmental sensor station (ESS) consists of the RPU plus its suite of sensors.

Typically, this equipment is permanently located at a site along a travel corridor. In some cases, the "stations" may be portable, or even mobile. For NTCIP 1204 v03 purposes, all three types of stations are called ESS. In the transportation community, these devices are frequently used to improve roadway maintenance and traffic operations.

Environmental sensors are also frequently co-located with pavement treatment systems (PTS) and, in fact, may use the same controller. Thus, for NTCIP 1204 v03 purposes, the term ESS may also include a PTS.

NOTEā€”The PTS portion of NTCIP 1204 v03 may be placed in a separate standard in the future.

Unfortunately, there have not been standards defining how these devices communicate with management systems. As a result, each manufacturer has developed its own protocol to meet its own particular needs. This approach has resulted in systems that are not interchangeable or interoperable. If an agency wishes to use either a central management system or additional ESS from a different vendor, the agency encounters significant systems integration challenges, requiring additional resources to address. These additional resource requirements inhibit information sharing within and between various potential users of the data and prevent vendor independence. Without manufacturer independence, resource requirements further increase because of a lack of a competitive market.

These problems have not been limited to weather and environmental monitoring. Many other devices also need to exchange information. In surface transportation, examples include traffic signal controllers, dynamic message signs, bus priority sensors, etc. To address these problems, NTCIP is developing a family of open standards for communications between field devices and central management systems.

NTCIP 1204 v03 is part of that larger family and is designed to define an interoperable and interchangeable interface between a transportation management system and an ESS, while still allowing for extensions beyond NTCIP 1204 v03 to allow for new functions as needed. This approach is expected to support the deployment of ESS from one or more vendors in a consistent and resource-efficient way.

NTCIP 1204 v03 only addresses a subset of the requirements needed for procurement. It does not address requirements related to the performance of the sensors (e.g., accuracy, the supported detection range, the time it takes to detect conditions, etc.), hardware components, mounting details, etc.

NTCIP 1204 v03 standardizes the communications interface by identifying the various operational needs of the users (Section 2) and subsequently identifying the necessary requirements (Section 3) that support each need. NTCIP 1204 v03 then defines the NTCIP standardized communications interface used to fulfill these requirements by identifying the dialogs (Section 4) and related data concepts (Section 5) that support each requirement.

Traceability among the various sections is defined by the Protocol Requirements List (Section 3.3) and the Requirements Traceability Matrix (Annex A). Conformance requirements for NTCIP 1204 v03 are provided in Section 3.3.

An implementation of NTCIP 1204 v03 requires lower level services to structure, encode, and exchange the data concepts defined by NTCIP 1204 v03. NTCIP 1204 v03 assumes that the data concepts are exchanged by one of the protocols defined in NTCIP 2301 v02.
ANSI/NEMA MW 1000, 2014