Sprinter inspection vehicle for high-speed inspection of rails
In recent years, many countries, including Russia, have been paying special attention to the development of high-speed and ultra-high-speed traffic. However, at present the mobile systems for diagnostics of railway infrastructure facilities can not operate at the speeds above 100 km/h. It should be noted that the speed of ultrasonic inspection which ensures detection of the most hazardous rail defects is limited by 70 km/h. Increasing traffic speed and intensity requires the higher speed of diagnostic systems.
SPRINTER inspection vehicle in designed for high-speed diagnostics of rails laid in a railway track with 1520 (1524) mm gauge at speeds up to 140 km/h.
The diagnostic performance of the car provides 3 options:
- ultrasonic car-flaw detector;
- contactless electronic track recording car;
- a tool for comprehensive diagnosis (flaw-the track geometry car).
-system for detection of defects in rails by ultrasonic method of nondestructive inspection (dimensions, material and composition of the rails must comply with GOST R 51045-97);
-system for visual inspection non-destructive testing of rails (video);
-system for monitoring and evaluation of the main parameters of the geometry of the track and main departure tracks under load non-destructively in accordance with the Instructions on the interpretation of ribbons and assessment of rail track No. CPU-515.
-system for monitoring and evaluation additional geometric parameters of the rail track;
-system for surveillance of the condition of the infrastructure;
-system for the detection of rail crossings.
SPRINTER is fitted out with the underfloor and onboard equipment and systems which perform full inspection of rails. For the first time, NDT equipment has been mounted on the bolsterless bogies manufactured by OAO Tverskoy Vagonostroitel'nyi Zavod (Tver Carriage-building Factory).
This diagnostic equipment and systems of SPRINTER vehicle provide for full inspection of rails with two methods: optical and ultrasonic.
To perform optical inspection, the vehicle is equipped with matrix (survey) and linear (high-resolution) video cameras.
The matrix cameras are designed for video monitoring the operation of the vehicle subsystems and for visual inspection of the condition of rails, rail joints, switches and rail/sleeper fixings. Matrix video cameras are installed in heat-insulated enclosures. The spotlights are installed to ensure an evenly illuminated image at any time of day and in any weather conditions.
The linear cameras ensure a continuous linear image capturing with synchronization from the external source via RS 422/482 interface. Thanks to the ability of the cameras to perform real-time hardware data compression to JPEG 2000 format, the data volume can be reduced from 1 GB to 200 MB per 1 kilometre of record with 1 mm increment. Universal mounting fixtures make it possible to install the cameras above the rail line perpendicularly to the rail tread for tracing surface defects, angularly to the external and internal rail head working surface for reading the marks on the rail web, above the rail fixings for detection of deviations from maintenance standards (missing bolts, unwelded rail bonds, etc.) Linear cameras make it possible to perform size measurements of the surface defects, joint gaps, etc.
Ultrasonic inspection method is implemented using a multi-channel flaw detector «ECHO-COMPLEX-3» of the third generation. A distinctive feature of the detector is increased number of ultrasonic channels.
The operation of the ultrasonic channels is based on the ability of the ultrasonic waves to reflect from discontinuities and physically non-uniform inclusions in the inspected item. Piezoelectric transducers installed in the acoustic units of the probe systems serve as emitters and receivers of ultrasonic oscillations. Ultrasonic waves reflected from various non-uniformities in the rail metal (defects, joints, bolt holes, etc.) or from the rail base are converted through direct piezoeffect to electrical pulses which are amplified and transmitted for further conversion, processing and registration.
All NDT subsystems of the vehicle are controlled by the run server which performs centralized calculation of the track coordinate. This ensures a synchronized operation of all inspection systems.