Because most of the RWIS installations have been installed for many years, they are generally in need of upgrade and repair. Some sensors are inoperative and some are obsolete, unable to reliably detect the presence and concentration of currently used deicing chemicals. Remote Processing Units (computers) located at the installation sites and Central Processing Units located in the Departments four region offices have likewise become obsolete in both hardware and software. None of the sites support modern National Transportation Communication Interface Protocols (NTCIP). Finally, the functionality and closed architecture of the proprietary system limits the Departments ability to access and use its surface weather and road information effectively.
Research is needed to accurately assess the condition and capability of SDDOTs existing RWIS installations and recommend cost-effective improvements, either through upgrades available from the current RWIS vendor or through partial or complete replacement with other commercially available components.