LiDAR and 3D remote sensing, the future of prevention?


LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), is a form of remote sensing that uses laser light pulses to collect information from surfaces in the form of “points” (3D coordinates). The data is processed with software to form a digital CAD model of the scanned environment. The data collected during LiDAR surveys and the resulting 3D digital model can be used to analyze current railway conditions, identify safety risks and plan the construction of new lines and structures.

The LiDAR has become widely used and is growing. Transport agencies, governments and construction companies around the world use it to streamline processes and increase safety.


LiDAR Applications

MAS calculation: once LiDAR data has been collected from a rail route (or potential route), the 3D processing software is used to automatically calculate the MAS (maximum allowed speed) for curves, which is essential to prevent loss of control and derailment caused by overspeed, while improving ride quality and passenger comfort.

Identification of right of way invasion: Occasionally, vegetation or even artificial structures (fences, displaced service poles, etc.) may invade railway corridors, creating a safety hazard. At motorway and railway crossings not equipped with active warning devices, such interference may restrict drivers’ view of the right of way and increase the risk of collision. LiDAR surveys can identify such invasions and once located, detailed obstruction measurements help to mitigate the risk.

Analysis of roadway and road surface conditions: Data collected during LiDAR scans also provide detailed information on degrading roadway and road surface conditions.

Identifying problems quickly means that they can be tackled immediately, before track conditions create a service disruption, or worse, a derailment. By analysing the existing profile of the carriageway and comparing it with an idealised profile, structural deficiencies can be identified before they give way.

In order to always guarantee an excellent level of quality, Gesa Industry, also in the design and production planning process of the train interior systems, adapts and renews the design in order to accommodate all the latest technologies in terms of comfort and safety, adopting cutting-edge components capable of meeting the increasingly high quality standards.


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