Highways England and Smart Video and Sensing Ltd (SVS) have announced the installation of a dedicated Tunnel Detection Test Bed at the Southwick Hill Tunnel between Brighton and Worthing on the A27.
The test bed will allow suppliers of any detection equipment to have their equipment evaluated by Highways England, or to help suppliers to develop new detection technology prior to requesting evaluation.
The test bed consists of 18 test locations spaced at 50 metre intervals (9 in each bore) along the two 500m bores, with a capability of 36 individual test devices at any one time and dedicated validation CCTV at each test location. The test uses a dedicated fibre network, gives users web access to their own equipment and tunnel detection logs, etc and has a fully managed installation and decommissioning process.
SVS says an Operator Interface (OIF) stores all alert messages and the associated information for retrieval at later times. The OIF Histogram function has the ability to search by date, time, system, etc. The database is adequate to store all information for the test period and uses a common atomic clock for all data logging and time comparisons. The test bed OIF has web browser enabled access to allow supplier users authorised by Highways England to view the OIF and test bed system remotely; this access will aid assessment of the systems under test and reduce information transfer time.
The test bed has been delivered to Highways England’s ITS Group, part of the Safety, Engineering and Standards Directorate. This initiative is believed to be the first of its type and is available to all manufacturers and research establishments for the development and testing of tunnel detection equipment.
SVS Ltd have designed and built the test bed under a collaborative project with Highways England and A-one+ who are the tunnel managers. SVS will manage its operation as the delivery arm for Highways England and liaise with potential equipment suppliers who desire to have their equipment tested and formally evaluated for possible future Highways England usage or for development purposes.
To ensure driver and tunnel security and safety, the test bed is totally independent of the existing tunnel control systems and has its own fibre network and web accessible user Operator Interface.
The first four manufacturers systems under evaluation are already installed and several other manufacturers have registered their interest to install their equipment for future evaluation in the test bed.