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AUTOMATIC LASER ULTRASONICS FOR RAIL INSPECTION - page 5 / 8

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such a display is shown in Fig. 4. When the defect is found and identified in some section of the rail, the software displays the correspondent report. Several series of field tests of the LURI system were carried out at the broad-gauge line at Banedanmark’s site near the Storebælt railway tunnel facility in Denmark. A piece of rail profile type UIC 60 was provided with artificial defects imitating the six man-made defects and welded into the railroad line. The railroad car was coupled to a locomotive driving at speeds up to 40 km/h (25 mph). An example the defect finding software, which represents identification of flaw type UIC 213, is shown in Fig. 5. These field tests, however, clearly revealed that, the region of the railhead currently limits the interrogated volume, and the speed of 40 km/h is the uppermost limit for the rail wagon of the LURI system. There are two main reasons for that. First, the energy and the repetition rate of the generating laser were limited. Second, the mechanical design of the railroad car is currently not robust enough to reach higher inspection speeds. Nevertheless, these limitations do not seem to be fundamental or intrinsic and can be overcome by further development and investments. Therefore, the work is presently underway on expansion of the interrogated zone down to the rail base and increasing of the inspection speed.

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