Monitoring the Operation Condition of RFID Tags on Rail Sleepers

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This project intends to develop a cost-effective detection system that can monitor the operation condition of the RFID tags mounted on the track sleepers. The figure above illustrates the scenery of an RFID tag mounted on the rail track’s sleeper. It may be mentioned that such tags are commonly used in communications-based train control (CBTC) systems.

The observed problem associated with these mounted RFID tags is that they become malfunctional due to performance deterioration after certain duration and their positions may also be shifted after some time due to the constant vibrations associated with the track sleepers. It is therefore essential to have a simple system that can monitor the operational status of these RFID tags and estimate their relative locations.

A detection system to be mounted on the train will then be developed through a number of innovative concepts so that it can communicate with the RFID tags for status monitoring and positioning. A program will also be developed to collect the information and to display the operational status of the tags for easy detection and triggering of maintenance.