Train Wheel Condition Monitoring via Cepstral Analysis of Axle Box Accelerations

Published by Christine Hassoun on

German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Transportation Systems

Published: 5 February 2021 (This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring and Maintenance Systems for Railway Infrastructure)


Continuous wheel condition monitoring is indispensable for the early detection of wheel defects. In this paper, we provide an approach based on cepstral analysis of axle-box accelerations (ABA). It is applied to the data in the spatial domain, which is why we introduce a new data representation called navewumber domain. In this domain, the wheel circumference and hence the wear of the wheel can be monitored. Furthermore, the amplitudes of peaks in the navewumber domain indicate the severity of possible wheel defects. We demonstrate our approach on simple synthetic data and real data gathered with an on-board multi-sensor system. The speed information obtained from fusing global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and inertial measurement unit (IMU) data is used to transform the data from time to space. The data acquisition was performed with a measurement train under normal operating conditions in the mainline railway network of Austria. We can show that our approach provides robust features that can be used for on-board wheel condition monitoring. Therefore, it enables further advances in the field of condition based and predictive maintenance of railway wheels. View Full-Text

Keywords: cepstrumcondition monitoringcondition-based maintenancenavewumbervibration analysiswheel defects