SiTrack:One by Leica Geosystems Makes 3D Point Clouds without GNSS

October 14, 2015  - By
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Photo: Leica Geosystems

Leica Geosystems has released SiTrack:One, a highly accurate rail track maintenance and refurbishment system incorporating the Leica ScanStation P40 to generate 3D point clouds. 

SiTrack:One by Leica Geosystems ensures complete coverage of an entire rail infrastructure surface without the need to receive GNSS signals for position information, the company said.

With a new mounting design, the total solution for rail maintenance and refurbishment produces synchronized engineering, survey-grade 3D point clouds for accurate as-built drawings. 
The Leica ScanStation P40 can either be mounted vertically in the centre of the rails or inverted directly over the rail track. Rail bridge sleeper replacements can be measured quickly generating a numbered as-built replacement plan for each individual sleeper on a rail bridge.

The sophisticated system is equipped with two powerful distance measurement instrument (DMI) or odometers that provide accurate positioning in GNSS-denied areas, such as underground railway tunnels or underground subway networks. The system’s on-site calibration process guarantees permanent alignment of the relative position between the sensors and its onboard inertial measurement unit, guaranteeing position accuracy.

The German engineering firm Vermessungsbüro Riemenschneider GbR was the first to use the SiTrack:One by Leica Geosystems. When converting existing railway tracks in the course of track maintenance for the Deutsche Bahn AG, the firm required complete, accurate and consistent information on existing tracks, clear structure gauge, route topography and civil engineering works. With the SiTrack:One, Vermessungsbüro Riemenschneider GbR experienced significant workflow gains by leveraging the highly accurate point clouds directly into the engineering process.

“The SiTrack:One by Leica Geosystems guaranteed  the complete survey of railway sidings with a minimum stay of surveying personnel in the danger zone of rail transport,” said Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Riemenschneider, principal of Vermessungsbüro Riemenschneider. “Thus, the costs of security measures were significantly reduced. The state-of-the-art system conforms efficiently to the demands for survey, visualisation, documentation, evaluation and approval of existing and new routes, all in accordance with rail transportation guidelines.”

Developed from acquired knowledge 
SiTrack:One is the first solution to be released under Leica Geosystems from the acquisition of the former Technet-Rail 2010 GmbH. Leica Geosystems acquired the previous firm’s specialised knowledge of geospatial big data for rail transportation networks in May to increase its mobile mapping offerings for the rail industry.

“One of our goals in obtaining this specific know-how was to provide users with a dedicated tool for passenger rail networks monitoring and maintenance, and with the development of SiTrack:One, we are taking the first step on this roadmap,” said Stuart Woods, Leica Geosystems Geospatial Solutions Division vice-president. “Professionals can now trust their measurements on rail are accurate even in the most difficult conditions.”

SiTrack:One by Leica Geosystems includes software enabling data synchronization, post-processing and feature extraction. This solution is part of the SiRail Suite, which includes the SiRailScan and SiRailManager software solutions.

SiRailScan allows for a complete extraction of the railway network with engineering accuracy level, while SiRailManager, the database management tool, creates a holistic view of an operator’s railway network from point cloud to geometry and signal layers. The combination of these solutions form the  SiControl platform, which conforms to the requirements of the  European Train Control System and produces complaint rail xml outputs for full train feedback control.

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