Ruggedized and Improved MEMS-based Sensors for Rolling Stock
AbstractThis article describes work related to ruggedizing and improving an accelerometer-based sensor, RotoSense™, used for monitoring rolling stock: the locomotives and cars used in trains. A paper, “Accurate Vibration and Speed Measurement on Rotating Shafts using MEMS and IoT Single Wireless Triaxial Sensor,” was presented at the 2016 MFPT conference that described a sensor capable of measuring shaft speeds of up to 5500 RPM. That paper included two example applications: (1) a helicopter gearbox, and (2) conditioning monitoring of a railroad track. A second paper, “Improved RotoSense for Rolling Stock: Locomotives and Cars,” was presented at the 2018 MFPT conference: it described subsequent improvements to that sensor, in terms of ruggedizing and improving signal quality, to meet requirements of a manufacturer of rolling stock. Included in the description are the rationale, the methods, and the improved results. The sensor described in the first paper was the first known, and is still the only known, to survive, intact, three days of testing at the National Test Track Center in Pueblo, Colorado, including a 10-hour, non-stop, 400-mile test run. Even so, a manufacturer of rolling stock wanted more ruggedizing and better signal quality. This article expands that second paper by including additional details and a new section on improved battery life.
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