The future of railway technology will be optical

railway track

The future is going towards railway optical technology, trhough fibre sensing tools for rail track operation. The German railway infrastructure provider DB Netz, and the world leader in distibuted acoustic sensing OptaSense, are working together to gather better understanding into the future of railway sensing.

The DAS systems, based on Raylegh scattering, use fiber optic cables to provide distributed strain sensing over large distances and harsh environments. This new technology will be capable to detect an initial set of events like:

– Accurate platform announcements of the next train
– Wheel flats and other wheel/rail interface problems 
– Hot axle box
– Unauthorised access
– Metal theft, vandalism and attack
– Rock and tree fall detection
– Animal detection
– Train tracking with train integrity in real time

Commenting on the scope of work Mr Joern Schlichting, of Deutsche Bahn Netz AG, said:

[quote]Following technical trials in 2012 where we first validated the detection capability of OptaSense DAS technology we now seek to prove the business impact of this technology to deliver a multi-event detection capability within one trackside sensor deployment.[/quote]


More info at

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