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EETE SEP 2014

Laser sensor system scans railway tracks By Christoph Hammerschmidt To kep the track infrastructure safe, railway operators need to acquire many track parameters in regular intervals. Irregularities in the rail geometry can cause sudden cracks in the steel rails since these are under high tensions. These cracks in turn can initiate domino effects with rails and railway sleepers tearing over large stretches. An innovative optical sensor system surveys the tracks quickly and safely. A laser scanner acquires geometrical irregularities and transforms them into 3D images. Today the state of the art in surveying a railway track infrastructure is camera-based systems. These systems however have a number of drawbacks: The quality of the results heavily depends on the lighting conditions, and they require a rather complex processing of image data. In addition, the image data are demanding a very large memory space. In its Rail Track Scanner (RTS), Fraunhofer IPM for the first time utilises a laser scanner to measure rails, railheads, sleepers and rail bed. The specific optical design allows the scanner to be mounted just 1.2 meters above the rail bed. The device scans the tracks transversely to the measurement vehicle movement at a track width of some 1.7 metres. With up to 2 million single measurements per second, the instrument generates up to 800 profiles, providing a detailed three-dimensional image of the tracks and the infrastructure that is associated directly to it. Out of the cluster of points generated, appropriate algorithms extract parameters such as distance, height and tilt of the rails as well as the exact geometry of the railheads. These parameters then are compared with set values. The scan frequency can be adapted to the respective task. Topographic structures and deviations are identified at an exactness of less than 1 mm. The scanner has the size of a shoebox and thus can be mounted to any rail vehicle. Thus, the RTS offers a cost-effective option to automatically survey the rail infrastructure without the need to acquire a specific measurement vehicle. Utilising an eye-safe infrared laser (class I), the scanner can be deployed in the public space without any restrictions. The instrument, which will be introduced to the public at the Innotrans trade fair in September, will be utilised by Swiss mobile mapping services company iNovitas to survey narrow-gauge lines in Switzerland. Single-box, optical network field test set Graham Prophet Anritsu’s MT1000A Network Master Pro is a new generation of all-in-one optical network field testers which support the multiple communications protocols used in converged telecom networks. It is a portable, compact all-in-one transport tester, aimed at technicians who install and maintain mobile-access, fixedaccess, metro and core transmission telecoms networks. Together with the MU100010A test module, it provides all the capabilities required for field-testing an Optical Transport Network (OTN). It supports the new OTN features ODU0 and ODUflex, as well as Ethernet, Fibre Channel and SDH/SONET at rates up to 10 Gbps. It also handles legacy PDH and DSn interfaces. The product can be configured to support dual-port testing at all supported interfaces and rates. The two ports can be used independently, effectively providing the user with two instruments in one physical device, making the field tester’s work more productive. Two-port testing can also be used for in-service bi-directional monitoring of live traffic links, providing a new ability to maintain and optimise existing networks and test networks while they are in operation. This enables operators to pinpoint problems faster and so reduce the duration of network downtime. The MT1000A Network Master Pro is also the first compact all-in-one OTN tester to give the user the capability to test the network with Ethernet and SDH/SONET client signals. This feature will become more important as the adoption of OTN and OTN switching becomes more widespread. Using the MT1000A, with its combination of OTN testing with Ethernet, SDH/SONET and PDH/DSn testing in one self-contained unit, the field technician will be better equipped to solve problems in the transport network autonomously, without reference to a remote network operations centre. “An increasing amount of traffic is transported over OTN lines; inside the OTN system the traffic is transported as an Ethernet or SDH/SONET signal. In some cases even Fibre Channel is used,” said Jonathan Borrill, Director of Marketing at Anritsu (EMEA). “Therefore it is important for field technicians installing and maintaining transport networks to have a universal tool like the MT1000A Network Master Pro to test all the technologies supported within the networks they manage.” Other key features of the battery operated MT1000A Network Master Pro include an easy and intuitive GUI, WLAN/Bluetooth/ LAN connectivity, PDF and XML report generation for documentation of test results, remote operation and control (scripting). www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe September 2014 43


EETE SEP 2014
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