MONAXLE - Live monitoring of train axles with autonomous wireless systems



Currently train axle inspections are required on every axle, every year. This is because an axle failure can lead to a derailment and significant damage. Train axle failures have caused major loss of life, with a consequential increase in both non-destructive testing and manual inspection that is expensive and disruptive to efficient rolling stock maintenance.

This project aims to develop a method for detecting axle cracks on trains with on-board self-powered monitoring. The vision is to use continuous live monitoring of axles with low cost self-powered wireless systems that are easy to install and will replace expensive and disruptive NDT methods in maintenance sheds, eliminating inspections between major overhauls.

It is intended to show that very significant cost reductions for train operators could be achieved as well as improvements in safety.

The project will develop advanced low power signal processing and sensing techniques suitable for use in Perpetuum's harvester powered sensor platform on a test rig that will be built at Southampton University, using the key expertise of TWI Ltd., in NDT and fatigue cracks.

This is a completely new approach to the serious issue of ensuring that cracks in train axles can be safely identified at reasonable cost.

The project will be undertaken by experts at Perpetuum Ltd, University of Southampton and TWI Ltd...

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