HONG KONG — Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s (PolyU) proprietary optical fiber sensing technology for railway monitoring has been adopted in Singapore metro lines.
Sensors were also installed in in-service trains to monitor the tracks
on which the trains run. PolyU is the first in the world using fiber
optic sensors in in-service trains for continuous monitoring of the
tracks. Compared with the prevailing means of regular check-ups for
tracks after close of traffic, the new system provides continuous,
in-service monitoring to enhance service reliability through
quick identification and rectification of defects.
Professor Lee Kang-kuen (left), Professor of Transportation Practice, Department of Electrical Engineering, PolyU; Professor Tam Hwa-yaw (middle), Chair Professor of Photonics and Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, PolyU; and Dr. Tan Chee Keong (right), Deputy Director, SMRT, Singapore.
“PolyU is proud to have exported its optical fiber sensing network to provide unprecedented health monitoring for mission-critical components in metro lines overseas,” said Professor Tam Hwa-Yaw, chair of the photonics department and head of the electrical engineering department at PolyU. “This PolyU technology will help enhance the performance of metro systems through an advanced predictive monitoring and maintenance regime, which is now the best practice in the railway industry and a global trend. This also shows how an academic institution in Hong Kong can develop leading technology in the world through collaboration with the industry.”
A total of six groups of sensors will be installed in tracks and trains of the East West Line and North South Line of Singapore’s SMRT mass rapid transit system, the two busiest lines in the metro network. An agreement was signed with SMRT in February 2016, and a trial run was completed successfully in June. The permanent monitoring system is now being installed in the two lines, to be completed in early 2017. PolyU will provide training to SMRT staff in operating the system, while the data collected during monitoring can also be sent to PolyU real-time for analysis when needed.
“SMRT is most delighted to have PolyU's advanced railway technology installed in our metro lines,” said Dr. Tan Chee Keong, deputy director of SMRT, Singapore. “With much foresight, SMRT is the first in the world to have adopted this preventive monitoring system, enabled by the cutting-edge railway technologies pioneered by PolyU. I am sure this optical fiber sensing network installed in both the tracks and running trains will enhance the operation of our metro lines.”