Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

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Inspection of railway infrastructures using LIDAR technology

One of the main railway infrastructures is the electric grid that provides the energy needed for its operation. The correct placement and maintenance of the electrical network at all points of a section of track is vital to ensure the quality, continuity and safety of the service. The inspection of railway electrical infrastructures is a critical aspect for the proper functioning of the railway network, especially in high-speed services, since they have high requirements in the degree of adequacy of the electric network. The current means of measuring and reviewing railway electrical infrastructures are outdated as the solutions available on the market are not capable of providing the required accuracy and scope, beside the high operating costs.

The objective of the CIFIL project (Development of systems for the characterization of railway infrastructures using LIDAR image) is the development of a new system for the recognition and inspection of electric railway infrastructures based on Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology. Project CIFIL proposes the design and construction of a prototype that allows to:
  • Develop a new adapted LIDAR system, for the precise and continuous measurement of railway electrical infrastructures.
  • Develop specific software and algorithms that allow an agile and accurate interpretation of the data captured by the LIDAR system with a degree of automation that demands minimal human intervention.
  • Integrate previous developments into a new displacement system with positioning capabilities and reference to the LIDAR system.
The project will be developed by a consortium led by the company TELICE, dedicated to the development of solutions in the railway field, together with the Robotics Group of the University of León, with extensive experience in information processing and the development of algorithms adapted to systems of artificial vision and in the management of data clouds, and finaly the CD6 of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, specialized in optical engineering, prototype development  and has a long experience in LIDAR technology.

The CIFIL project has the support of: the Spanish Railway Technology Platform (PTFE), ALSTOM Spain and RAILGRUP, a cluster gathering over 100 companies whose objective is to strengthen the competitiveness of the railway sector.

This project RTC-2016-5166-4 has been funded by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness in the framework of the Thematic Objective of the Operational Program  "Promoting quality technological development, innovation and research"
CD6 Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development
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