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Automated Track Centerline Following for Drone Flight Automation

Document Series
Research Results
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
RR 22-15
Subject Track
Unmanned aircraft system, uncrewed aircraft system, beyond visual line of sight, autonomous flight, track inspection, machine learning, flight control, GPS-denied navigation, safety

VisioStack Inc. completed initial research to automate drone inspection flights over railroad track using real-time rail detection and track centerline following to simulate flight control without Global Positioning System (GPS) information. Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS, or drones) are platforms that may enable more frequent and safer track inspection compared to traditional methods, augmenting human inspection and increasing safety on the railroads. This report highlights Phase 1 of this Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)-sponsored project.

Last updated: Monday, August 29, 2022