Software provider, Ardenna, announced the availability of Rail-Inspector — a cloud-based program that accurately processes and analyzes imagery captured during drone surveys.
Rail-Inspector identifies and measures railway features, classifying anomalies and determining the health of railway features, while reporting on areas of concern to railroad decision makers.
Some of the track features identified include fasteners, joint bars, switches, crossties and their condition, and more. Additional track measures include rail gage and gaps, tie spacing, tie angle, percent ballast covering ties, etc.
“Every business is looking for ways to obtain more insight into the health of their assets without impacting worker safety or operational efficiencies. Imagery from drone surveys satisfy those requirements,” said David M. Patterson, business development director for Ardenna. “Rail-Inspector takes those images, whether 10 or 10,000, and generates a comprehensive dataset, representing details associated with the track’s current health that would be impractical to obtain using other methods.
Drone surveys remove the need for possessions and line blocks, ensuring significant cost savings. Track owners benefit from a reduction in maintenance downtime, increased operational efficiency, and improved worker and railroad safety — all while providing a visual and digital record of rail assets.
Once multiple drone surveys have been performed, track health trends can be identified, leading to predictive track maintenance.
“By watching these track details evolve over time, trends can be identified, enabling maintenance to be scheduled and performed proactively before human or rail safety is impacted,” added Patterson.