itk Engineering

Putting an Ear to the Track: Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Railway Use Cases

This white paper provides an overview of railway use cases for distributed acoustic sensing. It outlines the challenges in algorithm development and highlights potential solutions.

Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) is a technology widely used in the oil and gas industry to detect theft, identify pipeline leaks, and to monitor drilling. At DAS interrogator units are connected to fiber optic cables to turn them into acoustic sensors that can continuously monitor more than 80 km of railway line in real time.

It lends itself to many railway use cases, for example, to localize trains, monitor infrastructure, detect defective wheels, and identify obstacles. This white paper takes the reader on a tour through these applications, pointing out high-level algorithmic challenges and discussing ways to overcome them.

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