UK Deploys Navtech Radar Detection for Tunnel

As a radar developer and manufacturer of high performance incident detections solutions for the transport sector, Navtech Radar , has supplied their detection solution for the new Hindhead Tunnel on the A3 in Surrey. The A3 Hindhead project is included in the government's program of major schemes. The project will complete the dual carriageway link between London and Portsmouth and remove a major source of congestion, particularly around the A3/A287 traffic signal controlled crossroads. The new road will be 6.5 kilometers (four miles) long and includes 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) twin bored tunnels under the Devil's Punch Bowl.

According to Stephen Clark, co-founder of Navtech Radar, “Radar incident detection solutions have proved themselves through a number of trials conducted by the UK Highways Agency, both above ground and in tunnels. I am delighted to announce that our technology has been selected for the new Hindhead Tunnel.”

"Individual radar have long detection ranges per device and so allow fewer sensors and lower install cost and maintenance," Clark said. "Radar is unaffected by fog, bright sunlight or general dust and grime, it will continue to detect vehicles and people though smoke in the event that there is an incident which could be invaluable to emergency services. The fact that ClearWay is now going into a new tunnel bears testament to the applicability of the technology. I am therefore also hopeful that the Hindhead project will bring us closer to other tunnel projects both in the U.K. and abroad."

PDS is responsible for the SCADA control system and system integration with a number of the other tunnel systems for the Hindhead project. Business Development Manager Mike Rose of PDS said, "Navtech's ClearWay solution was chosen for the low false alarm rate documented in trials and the fact that it is unaffected by environmental conditions such as rain, fog or dust."

"The solution complied with the standard requirements we had, but a bespoke change to the interface had to be implemented in order to facilitate integration to the SCADA control system. The system also had to be able to handle a change to the tunnel operating mode so that it continues to operate and generate alarms when a bore is operated in contra flow mode," Rose said. “The project also incorporates two service buildings – a Primary Tunnel Service Building (TSB) and a secondary. The Primary TSB is planned to be manned 24/7 and includes a local control room. The ClearWay solution reports the location of an alarm to the SCADA and then appropriate action can be taken, to alert the control room operator and bring up the most relevant surveillance camera image automatically if required”.

When completed, the A3 Hindhead project will deliver quicker, more reliable journeys on a safer road, and remove much of the present peak time "rat-running" traffic from unsuitable country roads around Hindhead. It includes the closure of the existing A3 around the Devil's Punch Bowl, bringing considerable environmental benefits to an internationally prized area. The center of Hindhead will be freed from the daily gridlock that blights the area, with the result that the project will bring benefits to road users, local residents, and the highly prized environment. 

Work started in January 2007, with the main tunneling underway in February 2008 and both tunnel bores completed on Feb. 26, 2009. The tunnel is planned to be open for traffic in mid-2011.

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