Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Keeping Trains on Track

27.07.2010
TAU helps develop early-warning hazard system for the world's railways

Thousands of people around the world have died in train wrecks caused by natural disasters. In 2004, the tsunami in Southeast Asia derailed a Sri Lankan train, killing 1,700 people. But with modern advances, these tragedies can be avoided — and a Tel Aviv University researcher, working in collaboration with teams from seven countries, is leading the way.

Prof. Lev V. Eppelbaum of Tel Aviv University's Department of Geophysics & Planetary Sciences and his colleagues are collecting high-tech sensing data from satellites, airplanes, magnetic and soil sensors, and unmanned aircraft to devise a solution that will provide a reliable early-warning system for train operators.

It's all part of the European Project FP7 research, "Integrated System for Transport Infrastructures Surveillance and Monitoring by Electromagnetic Sensing," which includes participants from Israel, Italy, France, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Romania. The international team of researchers aims to connect emerging technologies so that train accidents caused by avalanches, earthquakes and even terrorists can be avoided.

A system to detect sabotage

"Sinkholes, avalanches, landslides, earthquakes, flash floods — these disasters can cause train wrecks anywhere around the world," says Prof. Eppelbaum. "We are hoping to develop a platform that can be fitted to any railway, passenger or freight carrier, to better predict natural disasters and possible terror attacks on rail lines." He says that his part of the study should be completed by next year.

"We are creating a new interpretation system — allowing us to integrate cutting-edge technologies from across Europe," he says, adding that the biggest challenge, right now, is eliminating background "noise" from the data being collected.

Climatic features and parameters such as soil types and physical geography can be very different from one region to another, which makes the work even more of a challenge. Some of Prof. Eppelbaum's recent research advances have been reported in the Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, the Journal of Arid Environments and the Proceedings of the SAGEEP Conference (USA).

On the right Amtrak

The international team also hopes to examine the additional risk of terror attacks on trains. While all the other data collected by the research teams will be made public, this section will remain top secret.

Prof. Eppelbaum expects their methods will be adopted by the world's railway systems. As the cost of fuel for cars and planes rises, and environmentally-friendly train travel is more heavily promoted, experts predict that more Americans will be riding the rails to work and between cities. In 2008, about 30 million passengers rode on Amtrak trains, and train ridership figures have been steadily increasing.

At present, there is no monitoring system for either natural disasters or terror attacks on rail systems in America or anywhere else. Prof. Eppelbaum says he has his work cut out for him: putting together different geophysical measurements and formats of sensors, he is collecting very different kinds of data and trying to turn it into usable information.

"It's complicated math and physics," says Prof. Eppelbaum. "And yes, it includes lots of scribbling and equations on the chalkboard."

George Hunka | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aftau.org

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Realistic training for extreme flight conditions
28.12.2016 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>