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Pilot Testing of a Prototype Rail Based Wheel Gauge Inspection System
Pilot Testing of a Prototype Rail Based Wheel Gauge Inspection System
Report Number: IDEA-17
This follow-up project was carried out in collaboration with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) which provided a cost sharing contribution of more than three times the IDEA funding. This amounts to $230,000 for pilot testing and product transfer of the successful IDEA concept, Transit IDEA 3. The project constructed an operational prototype of a rail based automatic wheel inspection system and tested it in a transit operational environment. Work focused on specifications development, prototype design, and shop testing. Two additional sensor systems, that collect wheel rim thickness data and measure wheel distance from the imaging system, were added to the wheel profiler system to improve the measuring accuracy of the system. A preliminary set of specifications for the gauge was developed and reviewed at Amtrak's high speed rail office. A high speed line scan camera (up to 2000 lines/sec) was designed to increase the unit's operational speed. Several different methods of flat spot detection were investigated. Different types of shutter mechanisms were investigated in an effort to keep the optics clean.

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