The Anonymous Widower

A Rapidly Deployable Rail Stress Sensor For Next Generation Freight Monitoring

This project was one of the winners in the First Of A Kind 2022 competition run by Innovate UK.

In this document, this is said about the project.

Project No: 10039559

Project title: A Rapidly Deployable Rail Stress Sensor For Next Generation Freight Monitoring
Project grant: £263,725

Public description: As UK rail freight growth increases, a detailed live understanding of the network condition is
essential and is driving the need for industry digitalisation in the form of real-time and in-situ condition monitoring.

This is also a key enabler of automated networks and the adoption of autonomous vehicles.

In the UK many of the existing wayside rail measurement technologies (e.g. Weigh-in-Motion[WiM] and Wheel Impact Load Detector [WILD]) are expensive, time consuming to install, and permanent.

Thus, the adoption of measurement technologies for improving service offerings is becoming increasingly important. Some proposed data streams are unmeasurable using commercially available technologies; other smaller rail sensors on the market only offer very basic measurements (such as vibration and temperature). Some can be achieved through strain gauging, weighbridges or manual inspection. However, Peak to Peak Measurement Solutions (PktoPk)’s solution is more robust, has longer term stability, is rapidly deployable, offers higher measurement frequency and is significantly cheaper/faster to deploy than any of the competing technologies. It builds on similar systems PktoPk have deployed to non-competing industries such as automotive, large marine diesel, and injection moulding.

PktoPk proposes a novel technology to take key measurements using an ultrasonic array transducer mounted in a robust clamp that can be rapidly fixed under a rail of any gauge. Measurements will be taken in real-time and uploaded to a cloud platform. This solution is fast, portable and excellent value for money whilst providing tangible, reliable and cost-saving data.

The system benefits to asset owners include; reducing possession duration, reducing inspection/maintenance downtime and providing rail operators with easy access to all the data streams listed below.

  • Dynamic lateral and vertical force (L/V)
  • Wheel-rail contact position and shape
  • Wheel-rail interfacial stiffness
  • Axle load/weight (ALM)
  • Additional ‘standard’ measurements (temperature/noise/vibration)

The project will utilise PktoPk’s close relationship with University of Sheffield, where the IP and right to operate is also shared, and will work with other local partners to create a demonstration of their novel technology to key rail stakeholders in a live rail environment.

This event will also be broadcast with some international stakeholders who have already expressed their excitement about the demonstration.

My Thoughts And Conclusions

November 17, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] 10039559 – A Rapidly Deployable Rail Stress Sensor For Next Generation Freight Monitoring […]

    Pingback by First Of A Kind 2022 Winners Announced « The Anonymous Widower | November 17, 2022 | Reply

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