21 March 1994 Locating railroad track bed subsurface defects utilizing nondestructive remote sensing technologies
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Abstract
Railroad track failure, attributed to moisture trails and erosion voids in the rock ballast and subsoils that support the tracks, slowly deteriorate the railbed to a critical point in which iron rail shift occur. All railroad lines experience failures on a regular basis, but the recent Flood of '93, that inundated thousands of square miles of land and hundreds of miles of railroad tracks in the midwestern United States, brought a new impetus to quickly locate and repair these hidden subsurface defect areas. This paper illustrates a new technology combination of nondestructive remote sensing, computer-enhanced IR thermography and ground penetrating radar, that was used to detect buried moisture trails and erosion voids of railroad track beds. This technology combination is described in theory and by discussion of a case study based upon a successful project, conducted immediately following the flood, for Burlington Northern Railroad.
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Richard J. Graf, Leann M. Forister, Gary J. Weil, "Locating railroad track bed subsurface defects utilizing nondestructive remote sensing technologies", Proc. SPIE 2245, Thermosense XVI: An International Conference on Thermal Sensing and Imaging Diagnostic Applications, (21 March 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.171167; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.171167
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