Experts from Siemens have developed a wireless sensor system that measures the mechanical loads to which a rail vehicle is subjected during operation.
As reported in the latest edition of the Siemens research magazine Pictures of the Future, the sensors measure, for example, the degree of vibration at various points. For this purpose, they require very little energy and, thanks to wireless technology, can be used without the need to lay cables.
Once the mechanical loads applying to various components are more precisely known, it will be possible to make rail vehicles more energy-efficient. Only when the static and dynamic safety of the locomotive is guaranteed can engineers begin to think about using less material. At the same time, modern locomotives consist of an ever-greater number of components from different suppliers.
To ensure that all of these different parts interact smoothly, the mechanical loads to which each is subjected must be precisely defined in the design requirements. Exact knowledge of these mechanical loads is also necessary in order to make reliable predictions regarding service life and maintenance intervals.
At present, the sensors used to measure the tensile and impact loads to which a rail vehicle is subjected while moving are all still wired via cable to a data-logging unit. Hardwired sensors are also used in wind turbines, cars, and aircraft. For rail vehicles, in particular, this involves several drawbacks.
To begin with, hardwiring all the sensors within a locomotive is a complicated job. Moreover, this exposes them to lots of electromagnetic interference. On the other hand, cables laid along the outer body of the locomotive are exposed to the full impact of the elements; while on the underside of the locomotive, they are vulnerable to damage from stones in the track bed.
Experts in sensor and wireless technology from the Siemens global research unit Corporate Technology developed the wireless sensor system as part of the government-sponsored research project Akusens. As many as 20 sensor nodes can be operated simultaneously and data from each of them logged synchronously. Fitted to each sensor node is a triaxial acceleration sensor that continuously takes measurements.
In this way, it is possible to build up a profile of the vibrations and loads to which the rail vehicle is subjected and thereby describe the long-term stresses on individual components. Similarly, the vibration data in the profile also shows how torsion affects the superstructure and running gear. To the human eye, however, such movements remain invisible, since the components affected move only a few millimeters.
Over a period of nine months, the system underwent trials on the route between Rotterdam and Muttenz, a municipality in Switzerland. The sensors were fitted to a freight locomotive operating in normal service. The wireless sensors continued to perform precisely and reliably at temperatures between -20 and +85 degrees Celsius. In the future, the sensors will also be tested in other areas of application.
Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
How protons move through a fuel cell
22.06.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Fraunhofer IZFP acquires lucrative EU project for increasing nuclear power plant safety
21.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology