Railyard Worker Safety through Innovative Mobile Active Train Detection and Risk Localization

The project team proposes to research a lightweight, energy efficient, Wireless Body Area Network-based solution for automated threat detection, localization, and alerting. This solution will not require yard equipment installation and integrates with any existing infrastructure. For this solution the project will propose to research a variety of different detection approaches, such as passive acoustic localization using microphone arrays for precise distance and direction determination, 360degree point-of-view (POV) camera systems and active image processing to visually detect trains, active echo localization for moving obstacle detection, and radio frequency & electromagnetic (RF & EM) detection to detect interference from the locomotive itself. Processing of sensor information will be performed collaboratively among the WBAN sensors worn by each worker, and results reported wirelessly to yard infrastructure and operators. The project will research detection and threat classification algorithms using approaches such as Decision Trees, Bayesian Networks, Gaussian Mixture Models, Hidden Markov Models, and Hierarchical Clustering. The project will research localization methods using signal strength information, global positioning system (GPS), or other approaches. The system will also be able to detect and report worker accidents that may prevent a worker from vacating a danger zone and alert surrounding workers to the situation.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $287417
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Union Pacific Railroad

    1400 Douglas Street
    Omaha, Nebraska  United States  68179

    Advanced Technology Center, Incorporated

    Science Engineering Research
    Dallas, TX  United States 
  • Managing Organizations:

    University of Nebraska, Lincoln

    College of Engineering and Technology
    Lincoln, NE  United States  68503
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Nebraska, Lincoln

    College of Engineering and Technology
    Lincoln, NE  United States  68503
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sharif, Hamid

    Hempel, Michael

  • Start Date: 20160701
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180630
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01616223
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Center for Railway Safety
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC59
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 11 2016 12:16PM