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Visibility Measurement Technique Using Photographic Images

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.595.1 - 4.595.9

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Paper Authors

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Olkan Cuvalci

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Douglas D. Gransberg

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Cevdet Nuhrat

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Bobby Green

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3659

Visibility Measurement Technique Using Photographic Images

Olkan Cuvalci, Douglas D. Gransberg, Bobby L. Green and Cevdet Nuhrat Dept. of mechanical Engineering/ Engineering Technology Dept./ Computer Science Dept., Texas Tech University

Abstract Nighttime traffic accident rates are considerably higher than daytime accident rates. There are several reasons for the unbalanced accident rates during the night; one being that an average person is poorly equipped to see adequately at night. Visual performance and traffic safety are highly correlated to the amount of visual input, which we can receive from the road and its immediate environment. Therefore, any quality judgement for the lighting system is based on the visibility criteria. In this article, an experimental method is introduced to measure the visibility of a small target and compare the results with the Illumination Engineering Society (IES) which is a recommended analytical method. Geometric data of the experimental field was entered in a computer and the visibility level (VL) of the small target was calculated by using the Keck’s program at 10 standard points between the poles. The image of the small target was recorded at the same 10 standard points and all the recorded images were loaded to the computer and analysed by using picture analysis program developed by using Visual Basic algorithm in our laboratory. After the calculations, the theoretical and experimental results were plotted and compared.

1. Introduction

Fixed roadway lighting plays an important part in safe driving at night. Since automobile headlights do not light a distance that is adequate for safe stopping at night. To provide safe driving at night, different design methods for roadway lighting was developed to obtain better visibility and visual comfort. The first time roadway lighting were desined, it was based on the amount of light striking the surfaces of the pavement (illuminance). However, it was later found that the brightness of a pavement related to the amount of light that is reflected from it (luminance). Since then, it has been proved that the ability to see an object at night is based not on the light that is striked from the object, but on the difference in the brightness between the target and its background (contrast).

The first lighting research was started in the 15th century, when the citizens of London and Paris began to carry lanterns at night. In 1866, the control of roadway lighting by government agencies began in Paris. The first significant lighting research was conducted by Sweet in the 1910’s. He studied the disability glare under the supervision of Railroad Warehouse Commission at Madison, Wisconsin. Subsequently, in 1914, an extensive research project was conducted in Philadelphia by Preston Miller. Waldram of England continued this reseach in the late 1930’s.

Cuvalci, O., & Gransberg, D. D., & Nuhrat, C., & Green, B. (1999, June), Visibility Measurement Technique Using Photographic Images Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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