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Extended Field Trials of LRAIL for Automated Track Change Detection

Document Series
Technical Reports
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
Subject Track
Laser triangulation, algorithms, change detection, safety, inspection

LRAIL is a 3-dimensional laser inspection system that combines high-speed laser triangulation sensors and artificial intelligence to automatically inspect the condition of, and detect safety-related changes in, railway infrastructure.
For this project, LRAIL technology was installed on a specialized hi-rail inspection trailer and data were captured on Amtrak lines over a 4-month period in three separate deployments across an 8-mile test loop near the Delaware-Pennsylvania border. 

Repeat runs in the same direction and reverse runs were captured during each deployment to model repeatability, mean, and standard deviation of measurements. The noise floor for change detection was also modeled through analysis of repeat runs and the detection of known/deliberate changes.

LRAIL change measurements were determined to be highly repeatable, with an overall average of 99.28 percent agreement between runs.

Last updated: Monday, April 6, 2020