Self-Deicing LED Signal for Railroad and Highway Intersections

This project will develop and demonstrate a new type of self-de-icing LED signals for highway and railroad intersections as replacement for existing LED signal light that are too cool to deice or melt snow and may cause accidents in snowy conditions. The work is being carried out in three stages. Work in Stage 1 focuses on laboratory investigation. Three prototypes of the self-de-icing LED signals in red, green, and yellow light colors will be developed and tested on highway intersection and railroad wayside and at-grade crossing signal lights. Working with project partners desired specifications of the prototype signals will be developed and field test sites will be identified. Necessary equipment, components and materials will be procured to develop and build the prototypes and test for their thermal and lighting performance to meet all requirements. Work in Stage 2 will focus on testing the three prototypes mounted on the roof of the University of Kansas engineering complex and powered by the signal controller cabinet. The performance criteria will include: (i) the lens surface temperature remains above 0° C (32° F) over the entire testing period in cold wintertime; (ii) no visible buildup of ice, sleet, and snow occurs on the signal lens; (iii) the brightness of the signal light lens is higher than the threshold values designed to meet the regulated safety requirements of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the Union Pacific (UP) or Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad corporations; and (iv) there is minimum power consumption from the signal controller cabinet. Work in the third and final stage will involve field testing of the developed prototypes on identified highway signalized intersections and rail track sections. The prototypes, validated in the closed-course setting, will be installed on pole-mounted signals as backup to the existing primary signals and commissioned. Real-time performance for melting snow and deicing will be monitored by a security video camera as well as by personal site visits. On-site demonstration of the prototype signals will also be held for project partners and state departments of transportation (DOTs) to initiate the implementation process. The final report will provide all relevant data and results along with plans for implementation of the self-de-icing LED signals in affected states.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 29

    IDEA 20-30, IDEA 90

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Safety Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA)

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Kansas, Lawrence

    Department of Civil Engineering, 2006 Learned Hall
    Lawrence, KS  United States  66045-2225
  • Principal Investigators:

    Cai, Hongyi

  • Start Date: 20160211
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40597

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01590176
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 29, IDEA 20-30, IDEA 90
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Feb 11 2016 1:00AM