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Rail Surface Inspection

Inspection Algorithms

All of the following inspection techniques, algorithms, and displays have been developed to analyze the surface features of railroad tracks from nadir-looking drone views. 

Rail Gage

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Rail gage is the measurement between the inner surfaces of the rail tracks.  This distance is critical for safe operation of a locomotive on the tracks.

Crosstie Orientation

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Crosstie orientation is the orthogonality measurement of the crossties relative to the track direction.  Misalignment of the crossties can indicate a number of track issues.

Crosstie Spacing

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Crosstie spacing measurement is a compliment to crosstie orientation.  A change in tie spacing is also an indication of possible track problems.

Crosstie Length

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The automated calculation of crosstie length can indicate issues where ends of ties have broken off due to the repeated stress of locomotives passing over.

Crosstie Splitting

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Automated detection of crosstie splitting helps identify ties that are nearing the end of their functional life and need to be replaced.

Baseplate Detection

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Detection of track mounting baseplates ensures that required baseplates are present and properly oriented.  This also serves as the basis for the more critical spike detection and analysis.

Spike Analysis

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Spike detection and analysis compares the detected baseplate and spikes to the expected configuration required for the current section of track and identifies if any spikes are missing or misplaced.

Remote Asset Inspection

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High resolution satellite imagery or drone imagery of specific assets or locations can be extracted from the torrent of collected data for high resolution details on assets that are not easily accessible.

Anaglyphs / Stereoscopic Imagery

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Using a process known as epipolar rectification, hardware can be viewed in 3D through stereoscopic images or through anaglyphs (using red-cyan glasses)

Right of Way Encroachment

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Right of way encroachment detects if there are is any significant vegetation inside the right of way of the tracks.