Kane Sutton

KANE SUTTON

Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI)
United States

FOAD technology in North American railroads

Overview

  • Fiber Optic Acoustic Detection (FOAD) in the North American freight railroad industry
  • Identification of FOAD technology applications of the railroads as well as guide future application development strategies
  • Development of a draft FOAD fibre cable installation guideline document as well as a FOAD Interface Control Document (ICD)

Abstract

Fiber Optic Acoustic Detection (FOAD) is relatively new to the North American freight railroad industry. The technology was first introduced to the freight railroads in late 2011 when CSX corp. funded a proof of concept test at the Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI). This POC test showed promising results for the technology to be capable of detecting many types of wheel and rail defects as well as provide a means of train tracking. Since FOAD technology was introduced, there has been a continued interest from the railroads as well as the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) and the Association of American Railroads (AAR). CSX as well as the FRA have funded several FOAD test programs and built several FOAD testbeds at TTCI in the past six years. This research has yielded valuable data that FOAD suppliers have utilized to continue to improve FOAD system capabilities. The AAR with participation from the North American freight and passenger railroads as well as FOAD venders and fiber optic suppliers have formed a FOAD task force. The task force mission is to identify the FOAD technology applications of the railroads as well as guide future application development strategies. Since its inception, the FOAD task force has identified the top railroad applications FOAD has the potential of being used for. The task force has also developed a draft FOAD fiber cable installation guideline document as well as a FOAD Interface Control Document (ICD). Future work will continue with the FOAD task force to assist in guiding this technology to best meet the needs of the North American freight railroads.

Biography

Kane Sutton is a senior engineer at the Transportation Technology Center (TTCI) in Pueblo, Colorado. He has been working for TTCI since April of 2014. His focus has been working on projects developing distributed acoustic sensing for rail road applications. His involvement has included activities such as testing, data analysis, and signal processing. He has also supervised algorithm development of broken rail, flat wheel, axle, and train presence detection for distributed acoustic sensing. Kane Sutton currently holds a Master of Science degree in physics from the University of Colorado.

 
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