The Laser Mapping Systems for the Japan Railways
Nippon Insiek & Siteco Informatica partnership for the development of two Road-Scanner Systems for the main Japan Railway Company, JR-East.
To research and integrate cutting-edge technologies, JR East has now requested the development of a new Road-Scanner system. The system will be adopted for regular monitoring of the entire 1,194.2 km Shinkansen network.
The first system acquired has been tested for 5 years, installed on a special experimental train provided by JR East for the implementation of innovative technologies.
The new Laser Mapping System will be mounted on a special vehicle for the management of the Shinkansen network connecting the Kanto, Tohoku, Joshinetsu, and Hokuriku regions.
The system implementation was a real challenge for Siteco Informatica and Nippon Insiek Engineers, on many fronts:
• The installation: Laser scanners and cameras were mounted on the rear of the wagon, at 15 m from the controller Rack positioned in the cabin on the opposite side of the wagon. The wiring was assembled and mounted in conformity with the severe regulations provided by the Japanese railways.
• The acquisition software: A new application release was expressly developed for this project, fully automated to minimize the operators’ effort during the missions.
• Smart features for surveying in extreme GPS outage conditions: New features were added to manage difficult conditions of GPS outage, in the trajectory of the survey, and in the initial and final phases of the missions, that must be performed inside the railway stations.
• Top performances ensured by the use of best quality equipment: The system was integrated with the best components available on the market (Applanix POSLV 620, Z+F 9020 laser-scanners, highly responsive Baumer camera, adaptive to low light conditions).
The testing of the inspection system, installed on the experimental train, was carried out in collaboration with JR East engineers. The test was successful and the system was declared suitable to be used for the systematic survey of the entire railway network, starting from 2024.
The system implementation and test were carried out in 2020-2021 despite the difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, without any significant delay.
The project required great teamwork and highly qualified personnel to ensure compliance with the requirements imposed by the Japanese Railways and, at the same time, meet the high expectations of all parties involved.