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Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
ITS Joint Program Office

Application Areas

Environmental Monitoring


This center-to-field application area covers the interface between a center and roadway equipment that monitors weather and road surface conditions-the environmental sensor station. The environmental sensor station is commonly deployed as the field component of a road/weather information system (RWIS). It is comprised of a remote processor unit connected to one or more sensors that collect environmental or meteorological data. The environmental sensor station collects weather data such as air temperature, amount and type of precipitation, visibility, relative humidity, wind speed, and wind direction. It also collects surface conditions, including pavement temperature, subsurface temperature, surface conditions (dry, wet, or frozen), amount of deicing material, and freezing point on the road surface. The primary users of the information from these devices are roadway maintenance, traffic operations, and weather service providers. Environmental data collected from vehicle probes is also collected at the roadside for use by traffic operations.
This graphic shows the scope of the Center to Field Environmental Monitoring application area.  This scope is described in the preceding text.
National ITS Architecture Interface
This application area includes the interfaces between the center subsystems that perform environmental monitoring and environmental sensor stations in the Roadway Subsystem (RS). Four centers - the Traffic Management Subsystem (TMS), the Maintenance and Construction Management Subsystem (MCMS), the Weather Service, and the Surface Transportation Weather Service - remotely collect, process, and distribute data from the environmental sensor station in the RS. These centers use the equipment to monitor road weather conditions. They send configuration and control commands to the environmental monitoring equipment; the equipment responds with data, device configuration, and device status (including fault information). Environmental data collected from vehicle probes is collected by the RS and sent to the TMS. All of this data is used to detect and forecast environmental hazards such as icy road conditions, dense fog, precipitation, and other conditions that may affect travel.

Applicable Standards

In general, the following standards are applicable to Environmental Monitoring deployments. To determine which specific standards are applicable for a deployment you will need to determine which architecture flows will be needed for the Environmental Monitoring piece of your deployment. Contact your local FHWA ITS Division Specialist or an ITS Standards Program Field Support Team contact

Standard Development Status
ATC 5201 (ITE ATC Controller) Advanced Transportation Controller (ATC) ; Published
ATC 5301 Advanced Transportation Controller (ATC) Cabinet Version 02; Published
ITE ATC API Application Programming Interface (API) Standard for the Advanced Transportation Controller (ATC); Published
NTCIP 1102 Octet Encoding Rules (OER) Base Protocol; Published
NTCIP 1103 Transportation Management Protocols (TMP); Published
NTCIP 1201 Global Object Definitions; Published
NTCIP 1204 Object Definitions for Environmental Sensor Stations (ESS); Published
NTCIP 2101 Point to Multi-Point Protocol Using RS-232 Subnetwork Profile; Published
NTCIP 2102 Point to Multi-Point Protocol Using FSK Modem Subnetwork Profile; Published
NTCIP 2103 Point-to-Point Protocol Over RS-232 Subnetwork Profile; Published
NTCIP 2104 Ethernet Subnetwork Profile; Published
NTCIP 2201 Transportation Transport Profile; Published
NTCIP 2202 Internet (TCP/IP and UDP/IP) Transport Profile; Published
NTCIP 2301 Simple Transportation Management Framework (STMF) Application Profile; Published
NTCIP 2302 Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) Application Profile; Published
NTCIP 2303 File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Application Profile; Published
NTCIP 8003 Profile Framework; Published
NTCIP 9001 NTCIP Guide; Published
SAE J2266 Location Referencing Message Specification (LRMS); Published
Deployment Resources
Deployment resources can be found in the deployment resources section.
  • ITS Standards Program Field Support Team
  • ITS HelpLine
  • Featured Deployer Profiles
  • ITS Standards Field Test Reports
  • NTCIP Case study reports (1999-2004)
  • ESS (Environmental Sensor Station) Standards Advisory
  • An Introduction to Standards for Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS): Siting Standards, Calibration Standards, Communications Standards