Modern Automation Technologies Professional Magazine


НаименованиеAutomated rail flaw detection — 5 years later


The operator-controlled demountable rail flaw detector remains to be the most reliable tool for nondestructive inspection of railway tracks. Upgrading the diagnostics service of the Russian railways is now under way. New-generation rail flaw detectors are being introduced that make it possible not only to detect flaws but also memorize gained information and operator's actions. The introduction of ADS-02 flaw detector with embedded registrating unit, which is produced by the Meduza Co., has dramatized the advantages of new-generator flaw detectors: one can repeatedly examine written information and find omissions of the operator. The number of hazardous rails revealed in the railway lines equipped with ADS-02 detectors has increased drastically and even exceeds the number of faulty rails found by portable flaw detectors.

Part of the ADS-02 is a Lippert CoolRoadRunner-II single-board computer, which meets the PC/104 format. Computers of this class have proved themselves when operating under severe environmental conditions (the temperature ranging from –40 to +50°C, shocks, and vibration), as has done an EL320.240.36HB flat-panel electroluminescent display (Planar Co.), which also forms part of the ADS. A flash memory of the CompactFlash format is interfaced with a computer via a USB port. The operator, having inspected a given area, transmits the flash memory to the computer center, which can store, sort, and process a much larger body of information. The information is studied by skilled personnel operating in shifts, which provides fast control. Notably, 9% of flaws are detected precisely in the computer center upon secondary processing of the data. Moreover, the risk of loss of valuable information decreases, since the data acquired are written on a flash memory the capacity of which allows one-month storage and copied on stationary data carriers of the center after each shift.

The PC/104 Embedded Consortium recognized the ADS-02 flaw detector as the best recent development in the nomination "Commercial product for industrial, medical, transport, and other applications." At the Embedded Systems Conference (San Francisco), the designers were awarded a prize.

ADS-02 flaw detectors have been put into serial production. Further efforts of the designers will be directed toward improving the detecting unit, automating flaw pattern identification, and developing a wireless channel for communication with the computer center.


Removable ADS-02 rail flaw detector under test

Thermal shock: from cold to warm room

By Roman Belyaev, Vitaliy Gribov, Aleksei Eroshin, Aleksei Kirillov, Aleksandr Reiman and Aleksandr Shishkov

Roman Belyaev,  Vitaliy Gribov,  Aleksei Eroshin,  Aleksei Kirillov,  Aleksandr Reiman ,  Aleksandr Shishkov