RAILACOUSTIC® – NEW GENERATION SECURITY SYSTEM-Dr.İlhami Pektaş

With “Rail-Based Acoustic Domain Technology”, the rules of the game are changing in Railway Signalization!

100% local and National Technology RailAcoustic® system is designed to reduce railway maintenance costs and support high standards of operational safety by using continuous rail-based acoustic data collection (big data), and artificial intelligence and data processing technology.

With the RailAcoustic® Track Condition Monitoring System, developed by ARUS member Enekom at METU Technopolis and whose international patents have been obtained, it has now become possible to detect many risk factors that affect track safety remotely, before the train arrives, and automatically by transmitting acoustic waves through the rails. The system has been successfully operated in the 90 kilometers of double-track section of the Ankara-Konya High-Speed Train line since 2019. Within the scope of Ankara – Sivas YHT project, the system is planned to be used to detect rail cracks and fractures that may occur in tunnels with concrete slabs, and to detect track safety remotely and sensitively before the train arrives. Operated by TCDD (Turkish State Railways) and integrated into the main line signalization system provided by Siemens, RailAcoustic® System will make a great contribution to the safety of track infrastructure.

Principles of the System Operation

RailAcoustic® Track Condition Monitoring System; consists of 2 types of rail-mounted units, wayside cabinet, and a remote control-unit. A rail-mounted signal transmitter/generator unit injects intelligent acoustic signals into the rail. This acoustic signal is detected by the signal receivers/detectors, which is also mounted on the rail profile, and transfer it to the trackside cabinets both for processing and transmission of the data. Data and results at the trackside are transmitted to the control center software module computer located in the remote control center via an IP-based fiber optic or RF (radio frequency) communication system.

The acoustic signal generation (RAG), acoustic signal receiving (RAR) and signal processing/communication/power unit (RASP) modules, which are the basic elements of the system, are continuously diagnosed by the remote control center software module (CCSM), and it remotely monitors the operating status of the system. In addition, “CCSM” performs many other monitoring functions including monitoring test result data such as rail crack or fractions and line safety, informing the operator or the related alarm monitoring system via the screen or remotely, as well as real-time monitoring of rail temperatures and following the train traffic.

All components of RailAcoustic® System are interconnected by an IP-based communication network. Acoustic Signal Transmitters, Acoustic Signal Receivers and Trackside Data Processing / Communication Panels, which are the main components of the system, are controlled by the Command and Control Center computer of the system with continuous diagnostic connections and all activities of the system are monitored remotely. Thanks to the rail defect detection tests carried out in parallel with this, both fractures and cracks are detected in real time, all disasters that threaten the safety of operation such as landslides, flooding, under-line ballast discharge are detected remotely, and train movement, train speed and rail temperature are monitored. The result data related to all these functions are delivered to the related maintenance and operation personnel with the alarms and reports sent to the remote smart devices by the system.

There is no need for a train passing to detect rail defects. The system injects the self-generated acoustic signals into the rail. The signal is sensed through the rail body, the data is processed and transmitted to the center, and the results are displayed on the screen.

With Automatic and Manual Rail Fracture Tests; Complete-Full Rail Fractures, Major Rail Internal Defects, Partial Cracks, Floods, Landslides, Rail Buckling and Defects are detected by the system with precise location. In addition, Train’s Location and Speed, Train Flat Wheel and Rail Temperature can be monitored in real-time in “Stand-By” mode of the system.

While the system makes itself more efficient and sensitive with the big data collected from the field and with processing the data with the help of smart data processing algorithms, it also evaluates the new and previously unrecognized data elements that appear in the data packages obtained from the field, and in parallel, detects hazards that can affect the traffic on the line such as landslide, ground collapse, direct physical intervention on the rails, flooding and heavy snow accumulation remotely and before the train arrives.

Such monitoring, which has been done only with electrical methods or with intensive surveillance, can now be solved more reliably with the Railacoustic® system, and the system will be used extremely efficient on High Speed Train (Ballasted), High Speed Train (Slab), Metro Lines, and all modernized lines.

This new generation system, which is based on the fact that the “most reliable data source” regarding the safety of the line is the inside of the rail-body, and will cause a paradigm shift in railway signalization; can not only be integrated with these technologies as a system that complements both Rail Circuits and Axle Counters in terms of line safety, but also can replace them in the upcoming period.

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