Storm Simulator


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The Aurora Storm Simulator training module mimics the decisions a maintenance supervisor makes during winter storm situations. The simulator provides information about typical maintenance resources (routes, staff, equipment, materials) available at a maintenance facility and then follows how a student manages the resources during a winter storm scenario. The scenarios use actual winter situations that occurred at various locations across the United States. Instructors assign students one or more scenarios, in which the instructor has defined the number and type of routes to be maintained and the resources the student will have to manage maintenance activities. Most assigned scenarios will emulate typical maintenance operations; however, an instructor may create scenarios with limited resources or atypical level of service requirements to challenge a student.

Plow Img The training simulation will commence up to 12 hours before the start of the event and provide information at 1-hour intervals through the event. A student works from a dashboard interface that includes links to all the information a supervisor would typically have available in normal maintenance operations. This includes the set of resources, weather and road condition information (recent, current, and forecasted), crew reports, and crew status. Using this information the student has the option to modify the crew orders on any or all of the routes or leave the crew orders unchanged. At each time step when the student's decisions are complete, the student tells the simulator to move to the next time step. The simulator will continue in this stepwise fashion through the storm event and clean up period.

Load Mat Img For each student run of a storm scenario the simulator monitors the student's level of performance in two ways: costs and an index of mobility. The mobility index is an estimate the level of service and is based upon the depth of the snow, ice, water, and compacted snow on the pavement surface and their effects on grip or friction. The cost is the accumulated cost of labor, equipment, and materials in dealing with the winter scenario through each time step. At the end of the scenario, the simulator will provide a graphic display of the student's mobility index values through the storm, the average mobility index of the previous students who performed this scenario, and a list of key costs with a performance ranking to the performance of other scenario participants.