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Proceedings Paper

Non-contact rail flaw detection system: first field test
Author(s): Piervincenzo Rizzo; Stefano Coccia; Ivan Bartoli; Mahmood Fateh
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Paper Abstract

Researchers at UCSD, with the initial support of NSF and the current support of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), have been working on a flaw detection prototype for rails that uses non-contact ultrasonic probing and robust data processing algorithms to provide high speed and high reliability defect detection in these structures. Besides the obvious advantages of non-contact probing, the prototype uses ultrasonic guided waves able to detect and quantify transverse cracks in the rail head, notoriously the most dangerous of all rail track defects. This paper will report on the first field test which was conducted in Gettysburg, PA in March 2006 with the technical support of ENSCO, Inc. Good results were obtained for the detection of both surface-breaking and internal cracks ranging in size from 2% cross-sectional head area (H.A.) reduction to 80% H.A. reduction.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 April 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6529, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2007, 65293W (10 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.715444
Show Author Affiliations
Piervincenzo Rizzo, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Stefano Coccia, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Ivan Bartoli, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Mahmood Fateh, Federal Railroad Administration (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6529:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2007
Masayoshi Tomizuka; Chung-Bang Yun; Victor Giurgiutiu, Editor(s)

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