exSentric – Extending Sensor Technology for Rails in the City

01/2014 – 12/2016

PMA method

PMA method (Point Mass Acceleration)

The rail-bound urban traffic forms the lifeline and backbone of a modern metropolis. An up-to-date urban rail infrastructure is a highly complex system. Its successful operation is one of the most important factors, both for economical efficiency and the urban quality of life. One requirement to guarantee this in the context of a modern, forward-looking maintenance management is the permanent condition monitoring of the infrastructure, respectively its technical aspects, the sensor system.

The aim of this project is the new, respectively the further, development of a sensor system tailored to the particular needs of urban traffic. In doing so, the focus will be set not do much on the hardware itself, like in the preceding projects uvWave and fractInspect, but rather on the complete evaluation chain from the signal over the measured variables to status data, and finally to the actual information, e.g. to the general views and prognoses which are relevant for the operation.

Every one of these four steps shall be investigated by means of practical problems and completely new designed, developed, prototypically implemented and validated. The respective topics and sub-projects are

  1. Hardware integration — Vehicle side sound measurement
  2. Auto-calibration — Track geometry
  3. Localization and graphic recording — Optical inspection of the rail surface
  4. Consolidation of data and long-term considerations — Wear and corrugation

The desired result is the further development in vertical and consolidation in horizontal direction of the successful measuring hardware developed in the i2v projects uvWave and fractInspect to an integrated complete system, the development of an evaluation method under comprehension of recent engineering standards, as well as the use of the perennial data bases available for the first time for the generation of practical forecast models.