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A train ahead

News
23Jul. 2019

One of the markets in which Sol Solution operates is the railway sector. Track renewal requires information on the nature, strength and water status of the different layers of railway bedding. This information is obtained through surveys, such as Pandoscope® surveys. But in order to prepare this investigation and carry out the surveys at the […]

georadar

One of the markets in which Sol Solution operates is the railway sector.

Track renewal requires information on the nature, strength and water status of the different layers of railway bedding. This information is obtained through surveys, such as Pandoscope® surveys. But in order to prepare this investigation and carry out the surveys at the most relevant locations, railway infrastructure managers are in need of information giving an overview of the state of the foundation.

This assessment is carried out using information collected by georadar antennas - or ground penetrating radar - mounted on a locomotive. "The ground penetrating radar antenna process has been around for a long time," notes Younès Haddani, geotechnician and head of the "innovation and diagnosis" department at Sol Solution, "but they have only been used in France for rail investigations since 2010, when a high-performance methodology had to be implemented. »

The test consists of equipping a locomotive with three radar antennas, a GPS and a video camera. This convoy passes at 80 km/h, which allows it to be integrated into normal traffic on the tracks, a feature that is of course of great interest to network managers. In addition, nearly 4000 kilometres of track were examined in France, Belgium and Singapore.

The service is as follows: the radar train from which electromagnetic waves are emitted is driven and what is reflected is measured.

When the data is processed, a meeting with the customer's engineers is arranged. "They have a good knowledge of their heritage," explains Younès Haddani, whom we compare with our results to decide on the location of geotechnical surveys to be carried out with the Pandoscope®. This investigation will provide us with additional information on the rail base. »

The synthesis of this information and the analysis of radar signals provides a continuous recording of the physical characteristics of the soil to a depth of one to two metres. "In particular," says the geotechnician, "it reveals the percentage of layers, which determines the proper flow of water. And this data is essential because water is the enemy of the soil. »

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