본문 바로가기 사이트 메뉴 바로가기 주메뉴 바로가기

KRRI Builds Korea’s First Performance Evaluation Facility for Railroad Drones

KRRI Builds Korea’s First Performance Evaluation Facility for Railroad Drones

Testing facility for evaluating flight performance of drones and their tolerance to electromagnetic waves in an environment that replicates the railroad system
Preventing drone accidents and precisely evaluating railroad facilities

GYEONGSAN, South Korea – APRIL 21 –The Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) (President: Seok-youn Han) has built the country’s first performance evaluation facility for drones that will automatically evaluate railroad facilities.

The facility for automated drones inspecting railroad facilities is designed to systematically evaluate drone performance for railroad facilities in a precisely replicated railroad environment where train-induced winds and electromagnetic waves coming from railway power lines occur at the same time.

The facility will help prevent drone accidents by evaluating flight performance of railroad drones and checking their tolerance to electromagnetic waves, allowing for more precise evaluation by minimizing the distance between drones and railroad facilities.

Currently, railroad facilities are evaluated manually, incurring significant time and expense in maintaining railroad facilities, along with the risks of worker accidents.

Railroad operators have a strong interest in technology for automating inspection of inaccessible railroad facilities such as bridges or electric transmission towers to reduce time and expenses for railroad facility maintenance, and to ensure safety.

In particular, automated inspection of railroad facilities needs to be available in real time regardless of track operations and drone performance railroad environment must be tested under all conditions because any drone accident can have impact on train operation.

However, until now, there was no facility for evaluating the drone performance in an environment that precisely replicates the Korean railroad system.

KRRI’s evaluation facility is designed to evaluate drone performance by precisely measuring drone location with a margin of error of less than 1 mm. The facility uses motion capture image sensors to trace and measure drone movements precisely under train-induced wind and electromagnetic wave conditions.

The headwind speed measured at a distance of 2.5m from a running high-speed train totals up to 8 m/s and the updraft created by a passing train can be up to 4 m/s. The newly-developed system creates conditions that precisely replicate actual railroad environments, such as headwinds, updrafts or gusts at a 15 m/s maximum wind speed.

Also, the facility allows for testing drones’ tolerance to electromagnetic waves at a voltage of 25 kV and the current of 300 A, the same environment as railroad power lines. Electromagnetic waves must be evaluated since they may interfere with the flight system of a drone, possibly making it uncontrollable.

The facility is the result of the Development of a System for Automated Inspection of Inaccessible Railroad Facilities Based on Unmanned Vehicles initiative, which has been ongoing since 2019 as a National R&D Project of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The Korea Railroad Corporation, Korea National Railway, UCONSYSTEM Co., Ltd., Softgraphy Co., Ltd., Seunghwa Technologies Co., Ltd., and Sejong University have participated in the development project.

“KRRI will further develop technologies to evaluate not only the performance of drones for inspecting railroad facilities but also that of a variety of drones that will be applied to the railroad field,” said Hyuk-jin Yoon, Head of the ICT-Based Public Transportation Research Department at KRRI.

“KRRI has built a facility for evaluating the safety and p performance of drones which are considered as a leading technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and likely to contribute significantly to automated maintenance of railroad facilities,” said KRRI President Han. “KRRI will strive to develop advanced railroad technologies integrated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as AI and IoT, thereby transforming the country’s railroads with world-class technology.”

※ Reference: Performance evaluation facility for railroad drones













Press Contacts

Yongmook KANG
Korea Railroad Research Institute
ymkang@krri.re.kr
+82 31 460 5184