WCRR 2022 (World Congress on Rail Research), Birmingham
We present preliminary measurement / inspection results for various sensor systems mounted onto a sensor platform able to autonomously navigate through tunnel drainage pipe systems inspecting for carbonate scale deposits. These scale deposits occur in tunnel drainage systems made of thermoplastic pipes. The drainages enable to design tunnels without resistance to ground water pressure. This is beneficial due to technical and economic reasons and common in Austria and other regions in Europe, especially in mountainous areas.
If tunnel drainages are clogged by scale deposits, the water pressure increases and the tunnel structure may suffer damage or water seeps into the tunnel. Therefore, maintenance works ? inspection and cleaning ? have to be performed frequently. Usually, train operation has to be stopped during these works. This kind of maintenance works represents the largest part of all regular maintenance works that are necessary in in Austrian railway tunnels and causes high costs. Austrian Railways? (ÖBB) goal is to develop inspection tools which can operate without influence on the railway traffic.
We report on the development of a sensor platform to inspect pipes for scale deposits. The platform is designed small enough to be carried by an autonomously operating inspection rover which is suitable for all Austrian tunnel drainage pipe diameters. We further report on the development of the second-generation inspection rover which is based on a vehicle already available and which was shown to be able to traverse autonomously a few hundred meters of tunnel pipes.Keywords: drainage, pipe, carbonate deposit, inspection robot