To get this innovation project on the rails, DB Systemtechnik GmbH was on the lookout for rugged standard measurement technology that would reliably deliver precise result under tough operating conditions – and fully autonomously, without the need for additional personnel. As well as being able to conduct fully autonomous measurements and automatically assign the measured data, maximum fire safety and electromagnetic compatibility with existing train systems were further criteria in the selection of suitable technology. Last but not least, the measurement technology had to be capable of collecting and analyzing one gigabyte of data per day and per train, and making this available immediately in usable form.
With HBK, the experts at DB Systemtechnik GmbH found what they were looking for. The measurement technology experts at Darmstadt delivered the amplifiers they needed. These play a crucial role by measuring vertical acceleration in the axle box which, after a single calibration, allows reliable conclusions to be drawn about the track condition. To do this, the longitudinal levels are calculated from the supplied measured data using an algorithm developed by DB Systemtechnik, and made available to its experts for immediate analysis.
In these regular regional and long-distance trains used for additional measurement, a high-performance QuantumX CX 22B-W data recorder and data acquisition software catman®AP and Quantum MX840B are employed. To simplify the process, the measurement systems on the trains are parameterized just once. After this, the measurement technology can reliably run independently.
On the train, the acceleration is measured for each position as part of the track monitoring process, and then made directly available online. The company uses its own NTP server to synchronize the systems. This provides each measurement with a time stamp, therefore ensuring that the measured status data can clearly be referenced to each section of track.