Reconstruction of an informative railway wheel defect signal from wheel–rail contact signals measured by multiple wayside sensors

Alireza Alemi, Francesco Corman, Yusong Pang, Gabriel Lodewijks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)


Wheel impact load detectors are widespread railway systems used for measuring the wheel–rail contact force. They usually measure the rail strain and convert it to force in order to detect high impact forces and corresponding detrimental wheels. The measured strain signal can also be used to identify the defect type and its severity. The strain sensors have a limited effective zone that leads to partial observation from the wheels. Therefore, wheel impact load detectors exploit multiple sensors to collect samples from different portions of the wheels. The discrete measurement by multiple sensors provides the magnitude of the force; however, it does not provide the much richer variation pattern of the contact force signal. Therefore, this paper proposes a fusion method to associate the collected samples to their positions over the wheel circumferential coordinate. This process reconstructs an informative signal from the discrete samples collected by multiple sensors. To validate the proposed method, the multiple sensors have been simulated by an ad hoc multibody dynamic software (VI-Rail), and the outputs have been fed to the fusion model. The reconstructed signal represents the contact force and consequently the wheel defect. The obtained results demonstrate considerable similarity between the contact force and the reconstructed defect signal that can be used for further defect identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-62
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • condition monitoring
  • contact
  • defect
  • Railway
  • signal reconstruction
  • wheel


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