Vegetation Profiling

Rail Vision performs automated forward facing view camera image analysis for detecting environmental features and determining their impact on track condition.

Our systems for vegetation analysis generate vegetation profile as viewed by forward facing cameras and makes distance measurements from the left and right of track, and calculates driver viewability ahead. The system can be user programmed to detect foliage of different colour if needed, based on a priori knowledge of how grass and trees colour during summer and winter.

Vegetation overgrowth causes a number of problems:

  1. Decreased visibility of track for the train driver
  2. During winter because of snow and windy conditions, tree branches can fall on the track, and therefore trees and bushes must be trimmed appropriately at regular intervals
  3. Grass and weeds can grow around ballast and sleepers.
Manual track walks at regular intervals, and especially at a greater frequency during summer months, are needed to ensure that vegetation cover is kept at a desired level. Compared to track walking, use of EnVision represents a significant advantage. Not only it can detect overgrowth, it can measure it accurately and generate a set of measurements from which exceedance locations can be directly found such that maintenance staff is dispatched to the right locations for vegetation management. Furthermore, photographic records can be kept over time and archived to show the level of maintenance needed, as well as maintenance carried out.

The following two images show vegetation detection in forward facing camera images and how exceptions can be determined.