Monday, 09 Jan, 2012 Technology

Latest Invention: Radar System to Help Prevent Accidents on Train Tracks


It may seem rare, but large objects, quite often fall onto the railway or subway tracks. People are also included in the list. Surely there's security personnel that's there to help avoid such accidents, but the cameras often are unable to help specialists observe everything for different reasons, poor lighting for example.

Such accidents may lead to lengthy delays in rail service, but most importantly they can lead to fatalities. With this in mind, a group of researchers was commissioned by Université Lille Nord de France to start the work on a system that makes use of radar in order to spot objects that fall onto the tracks.

When the system detects a person or objects (suitcases, bottles etc) where they're not meant to be, it shuts down the power to the tracks and sends a notifying signal to the oncoming trains.

Wideband radio waves are sent non-stop, allowing the system to examine their reflections from foreign objects. With the help of Automatic Target Recognition procedure, the system is able to analyze the features of the reflected signal. It is worth mentioning that only the prominent features are processed. Then the information is match up to a database of known objects.

Researchers carried out trials of their system in both virtual and real worlds. In both cases the results were promising, with the system being able to accurately detect the objects. In addition, the system was able to differentiate between the identified subjects.

Click here to find the paper published in the journal Measurement Science and Technology.

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