On-Board Ballast Stiffness Monitoring

Research Overview:

Ballast stiffness monitoring identifies early signs of track geometry faults, which includes mud/clay holes and formation weakness.

While not popular in Australia, ballast stiffness monitoring is very common overseas. The current methods of ballast stiffness monitoring were listed in HH6 and this mandate proposes another method that uses IoT devices.

Existing ballast stiffness measurement methods are not very effective at identifying the root cause of deteriorating track geometry, where multiple IoT devices have been shown to accurately simulate ballast settlement and movement under rail loading.

This project aims to identify the early mechanical behaviors that indicate future track geometry issues.