Pix: toshinori baba
Optical Fibre Sensing Used for
Rail Track Monitoring
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)’s proprietary optical fibre sensing technology in monitoring railway has been adopted overseas, for the first time, in metro lines in Singapore.
Apart from installing an optical fibre sensing network in tracks to monitor the trains, sensors are also installed in in-service trains to monitor the tracks on which the trains run.
PolyU is the first in the world using fibre optic sensors in in-service trains for continuous monitoring of the tracks. Compared with the prevailing means of regular check-ups for tracks after close of traffic, the new system provides continuous, in-service monitoring of tracks.
This enhances service reliability through quick identification and rectification of defects.
This new maintenance practice is expected to become a trend in the railway industry globally as it can best meet the ever-rising expectations for service reliability.
The use of optical fibre sensing network installed on tracks for monitoring trains, and in the trains for monitoring tracks, is also a most efficient mode of maintenance for two of the most mission-critical components for a railway.
This innovative approach won the Third 2014 Berthold Leibinger Innovation Prize in Germany.
Through collaboration with various railways on the application of fibre optic sensors, PolyU has become a pioneer and leader in the smart railway condition monitoring technology. A total of 6 groups of sensors will be installed in tracks and trains of the East West Line and North South Line of SMRT which are the two busiest lines in the metro network of Singapore.