Automatic condition monitoring of pantograph heads is a technical challenge which until recently has not been resolved to a satisfactory level.
This paper details the development of a Pantograph Condition Monitoring System (PCMS) that accurately and reliably monitors the state of carbon strips and pantograph heads on electrified trains whilst they are in motion at mainline speeds.
This paper presents an in depth look at the PCMS and the image processing technology behind the system. It also details the engineering challenges faced and the results that have been achieved during the Sydney Trains project to deliver the technology. It specifies how the system is being used in the Sydney network to prevent potential overhead wiring tear-downs and reduce maintenance requirements.
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