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Multi-scale Observation and Monitoring of railway Infrastructure Threats

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MOMIT (Multi-scale Observation and Monitoring of railway Infrastructure Threats)

Berichtszeitraum: 2018-09-01 bis 2019-10-31

The MOMIT project has developed innovative products and solutions supporting the maintenance process of railway infrastructures. MOMIT concept is based on the exploitation of unmanned technologies as Earth Observation satellites and RPAS-borne sensors. Developing advanced post processing chains, data fusion, automation, defining new indicators from estimated parameters, MOMIT has designed new operational workflows able to support intelligent asset management.
MOMIT adopts a multi scale approach: Satellite and RPAS data are combined in order to maximize their benefits and characteristics. A first overall analysis (with satellite and over long sections) could guide the detailed analysis and trigger specific preventive actions. Thus, maintenance activities are guided by this combined analysis with a general optimization of resources.
Effectiveness and efficiency of proposed solutions have been demonstrated by six main application cases, validated in a real operational environment:
- Ground movements: interferometry derived by SAR satellite data analysis has been used to define tools and indicators supporting the user for detailed analysis and preventive actions planning
- Hydraulic activities: a combination of optical and radar satellite data have been used to monitor soil moisture and water bodies close to the track
- Natural hazards: anomalies along the track related to natural phenomena (as vegetation growth) have been monitored by the use of satellite data.
- Electrical system: innovative RPAS has been used to monitor electrical effects impacting on the infrastructure efficiency
- Civil engineering structures: a combination of satellite and RPAS data have been used to identify possible criticalities to the infrastructure
- Safety: anomalies and illicit activities along the track have been monitored by the use of optical a radar satellite data
During the project life cycle, after definition of user requirement and corresponding services, algorithms and processing methods, MOMIT activities have been focused on the demonstration activities themselves: implemented demonstrators have proved how remote sensing technologies could be personalized by taking into account user needs; moreover results of demonstrator applications on real cases have proved the reliability and cost effectiveness of remote sensing products for infrastructure management.
Main results could be summarized as follows::
1- Some advanced remote sensing technology have been tested and used expressively for railways monitoring needs. Specific algorithms have been used to improve automatic processing of data.
2- The demonstrators have been personalized in order to support use needs in term of unmanned monitoring and reduction of costs.
3- Specific tools have been expressively developed to offer added value to existing systems.
4- Demonstrators have been implemented in real situation showing their concrete support to railways infrastructure management.
Dissemination and communication activities has been increased at the end of the project: many tools and channels, identified to be used to spread information, have been updated especially during the last part of the period, when successful results coming from demonstrator activities have been spread out by means of the official project’s website, social media presence, participation to conferences and events. The project has been officially disseminated by 13 participations to international events and conferences. In addition, 10 scientific publications have been presented in scientific conferences and events. The collaboration with the complementary project IN2SMART supported also dissemination and communication activities: during the final event many brochures have been prepared and distributed, to give any detail about realized demonstrators. Moreover, during the same event, real-time use of developed product have been presented to stakeholders.
The specific MOMIT achievements beyond the state of the art are overviewed in the following according to the main technologies/activities that have been performed in the project.
Satellite SAR and optical services. Satellite images have been exploited in order to provide different monitoring services for ground deformation analysis nearby the railway track, civil engineering infrastructure, water extent, soil moisture, vegetation, encroachment detection.
RPAS services: An advance on the state-of-the-art of Large-scale RPAS-based monitoring system has been rached thank to developen innovative RPAS platform.
Data fusion: the main ambition of the proiect has been to develop tools that are tailored to the specific needs of the proposed monitoring solutions. This implied the development of tools to process and analyze the data in a consistent, effective and as automated as possible manner, and also to automatically extract information from the fused datasets.
Value added information: a novel methodology has been implemented for the semiautomatic classification and pre-screening of InSAR data. This information could be used for a preliminary mapping of the expected damage of railway facilities at small scale and for the preliminary damage assessment of railway infrastructures (e.g. bridges). Moreover, RPAS has been used for the recognition and damage assessment of structures during early stages of damage during which the facilities exhibit low-moderate damage (e.g. fissures, settlements, etc.).
The MOMIT project includes a rich set of innovative technical aspects related to the railway infrastructure monitoring that will represent a remarkable improvement with respect to existing and currently used monitoring procedures, which often require manual, cumbersome, not completely safe, time-consuming and costly operations. The improvement concerns the automation of the monitoring tasks, the decrease of their cost, the standardization of the monitoring operations, the increase of the safety of the operations and the increase of accuracy, precision and repeatability of the monitoring.
The aim of the project is that the solutions to be developed will be integrated into the daily operational workflow of infrastructure monitoring and management, to provide an innovative range of products, able to support different types of monitoring tasks. The first straightforward advantage is the improvement of the railway maintenance operations, taking into account needs about the reduction of any operation that can cause a slowdown or interruption of the service. Another advantage is the capability to perform safe maintenance operations. A third advantage is the Life Cycle Cost reduction, thus contributing to achieve a cost efficient and reliable infrastructure.
MOMIT project results strongly impact on the railway infrastructure maintenance process boosting the use of remote sensing data and unmanned technologies to generate new effective solutions in terms of products (value added information) and processes (operational workflows).
MOMIT concept