Andrea Cusano
Associate Professor at the Engineering Department, University of Sannio
Speaking on 22 November, during the Wayside Train Monitoring Systems sessions


Andrea Cusano
Associate Professor at the Engineering Department, University of Sannio

A novel Fiber Optic Sensing System for Weighing in Motion and Flat Wheel Detections

  • Detailed description of the enabling technology of the smart measuring system and the principle of operation
  • The architecture of the system and the main features of the system
  • The results obtained in real scenarios


The ever increasing demand for improved safety, security and efficiency is among the most important aspects of the modern railway industry worldwide. The needs of smart condition monitoring systems are imminent as indicated by the increase in railway accidents/incidences.

Railway monitoring requires extensive multifunctional sensor networks for measuring strain, vibration, temperature, acceleration and many other parameters useful to assess functionality and efficiency of railways systems. In this context, here, we report our recent efforts to implement a novel fiber optic sensing system for weighing in motion and wheel flat detection in Railways Assets.

This new industrial system (actually included in the product portfolio of Ansaldo STS) is based on the use of FBGs strain sensors suitably clamped to the railways tracks through suitable and certified metallic packages ensuring minimal impact on the track, no rail drilling, ease of installation, efficient maintenance and capability to operate in harsh environment. The strain sensors, through a judicious data processing, are able to provide important information about the wheels weight and their defective status in real time without requiring the interruption of the railways operability.

A self calibration procedure and the selection of the proper sensor package ensure the capability of the system to provide reliable data when operating in different scenarios. Many of these systems have been successfully installed and verified in Abu Dabi and Napoli demonstrating a WIM and WFD accuracy less than 2%. In this work, we present the main features of the developed system and the results obtained in real scenarios.

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We look forward to welcoming you in Naples between 22 – 24 November for the Intelligent Rail Summit. 

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