Technical Reports

Track and Track-Side Video Survey Technology Development

  • 22
  • May
  • 2015
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
KEYWORDS: Track and Track-Side Video Survey Technology Development; Railroad; track; video survey; Egomotion; Global Positioning System
ABSTRACT: Researchers at HiDef/Createc have completed prototype development and testing of a novel railroad track video surveying technology called Track and Track-Side Video Survey (TTVS). TTVS is designed to capture clear video images of the track and track side areas from a moving platform at speed. This video data can be used to augment manual visual surveys and to add contextual value to existing data sets. The system has a user-friendly interface that allows for efficient data display and manipulation. Researchers completed trials of the prototype TTVS system on railroads in Maryland and Florida and demonstrated the system’s ability to gather detailed imagery of the track and track-side at a resolution of 1 mm. Clear images were obtained at speeds up to 28 mph under a variety of weather conditions. Researchers also demonstrated the linking of external data to the video using geo-referencing techniques and used a novel algorithm to geo-track images within the field of view. With additional development, the TTVS system can be employed in various track inspection and documentation tasks. Recommendations for future development include improving video resolution at higher speeds, dynamic linking of external data, and creating algorithms to make measurements directly from the video images.