DRBA Wins Delaware’s 2017 “Build a Better Mouse Trap” Competition

New Castle – The Delaware River and Bay Authority Maintenance (DRBA) Operations and Electronics Departments were chosen as the winners of the Delaware T²/LTAP Centers 2017 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition for the “Attenuator Camera.” Along with bragging rights, the DRBA Maintenance Operations and Electronics Departments will be awarded two Delaware MUTCD-compliant Stop/Slow paddles for temporary traffic control and the “Attenuator Camera” will be entered in the National Build a Better Mousetrap Competition.

“Fresh ideas like the ‘Attenuator Camera’ perfectly demonstrates how new technologies can applied to bring innovation and expand capabilities of the transportation industry,” explained Matheu J. Carter of the Delaware T2/LTAP Center.

The “Build a Better Mousetrap” competition celebrates cutting edge solutions to everyday problems and issues that local and tribal transportation workers and other LTAP/TTAP clients encounter. These innovations can range from the development of tools, equipment modifications, to processes that increase safety, reduce cost, improve efficiency and the quality of transportation. It is the epitome of “doing more/better with less” and each year the nation-wide competition proves that local personnel are always looking at old problems with new perspectives.

“Individuals who perform work around motoring vehicles are subject to many hazards, such as high speed traffic, roadway debris and inclement weather” said David Carden, DRBA Contracted Services Supervisor. “While crash absorbing cushions mounted to highly visible trucks are utilized to help reduce these risks, certain work with limited accessibility require remote surveillance to monitor traffic flow.”

The DRBA’s “Attenuator Camera” is a self-contained solar powered camera mounted to a high reaching, telescopic mast on an existing truck mounted attenuator (TMA) that provides a live feed for first responders, traffic engineers and safety. Using an existing TMA with a variable message sign (VMS) the “Attenuator Camera” alerts traffic to speed restrictions, roadway conditions, and construction while also protecting individuals in a work zone with the attached impact absorbing crash cushion. A 12 foot telescopic mast was procured to mount the camera and guy wires were installed to combat wind and roadway to steady the mast.

In order to capture the energy from the sun, a stand was built that both rotated 180 degrees in either direction and pitched the solar panels anywhere from 0 to 45 degrees. Doing this provides the true south facing and pitching abilities of the panels to ensure optimal solar collection no matter the season or placement. An existing TMA with a VMS was used to mount the self-contained solar camera. This cutting edge “Attenuator Camera” unit could be deployed to any site or location in all conditions.

Source; DRBA

Image Credits: DRBA

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