A white creature hurries across the road against a pitch-black night. It wasn't an elusive white bear, as my coworker Art joked, but the thermal image of a moose crossing one of the deadliest highways in Idaho - US Highway 95 in Boundary County.
According to its creator, Brice Sloan of Sloan Security Systems, the system is the first to combine the use of Doppler radar, high-resolution thermal camera, web-enabled remote power systems, and other wireless technologies to create a mobile animal detection system to reduce crashes between animals and vehicles. Unlike traditional perimeter detection methods this system tracks movement over the entire roadway – from fence to fence - over a distance of up to 1km in a given area.
|Deer captured in a test image from Warm Springs in Boise. Photo and video (above) ©Sloan Security Systems|
|Signal strobe light. Photo ©Sloan Security Systems.|
|Monitoring trailer. Photo ©Sloan Security Systems.|
In addition to the detection feature, the combination of radar and thermal cameras are helping the Idaho Transportation Department to identify where, when, and how many animals are crossing the roadway within the detection area and where potential collisions might take place – invaluable information for designing safer roadways.
Much more data needs to be collected but results, thus far, are positive.