Railway Condition Monitoring Based on Optical Fibre Sensing Networks
Elevated passenger and freight customer expectations nowadays are imposing tremendous pressure on railway operators to enhance service reliability. In order to reduce service disruption arising from train and track failures, railway operators are looking for better methods to enhance efficiency and quality of their maintenance for both rolling stock and railway infrastructures. There is also a prevailing trend to move from inefficient and costly traditional schedule maintenance regimes to condition-based maintenance in the railway industry. Based on advanced sensing and data processing technologies, condition-based and predictive maintenance is becoming more and more popular in many different industries. Railway operators prefer condition monitoring systems that can continuously monitor mission-critical components and produce big data in respect of railway asset maintenance so as to provide advanced fault identification and prediction functions, thereby raising the maintenance and service quality of the railway. Among different sensing technologies, all-optical sensing has many advantages as it is small, lightweight, non-conductive, immune from electromagnetic interference, corrosion free, and has a long transmission distance and high signal fidelity. This makes it an excellent platform for the development of railway condition monitoring systems.