An entropy-based analysis of GPR data for the assessment of railway ballast conditions

Benedetto, Francesco, Tosti, Fabio ORCID: and Alani, Amir (2017) An entropy-based analysis of GPR data for the assessment of railway ballast conditions. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 55 (7). pp. 3900-3908. ISSN 0196-2892

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The effective monitoring of ballasted railway track beds is fundamental for maintaining safe operational conditions of railways and lowering maintenance costs. Railway ballast can be damaged over time by the breakdown of aggregates or by the upward migration of fine clay particles from the foundation, along with capillary water. This may cause critical track settlements. To that effect, early stage detection of fouling is of paramount importance. Within this context, ground penetrating radar (GPR) is a rapid nondestructive testing technique, which is being increasingly used for the assessment and health monitoring of railway track substructures. In this paper, we propose a novel and efficient signal processing approach based on entropy analysis, which was applied to GPR data for the assessment of the railway ballast conditions and the detection of fouling. In order to recreate a real-life scenario within the context of railway structures, four different ballast/pollutant mixes were introduced, ranging from clean to highly fouled ballast. GPR systems equipped with two different antennas, ground-coupled (600 and 1600 MHz) and air-coupled (1000 and 2000 MHz), were used for testing purposes. The proposed methodology aims at rapidly identifying distinctive areas of interest related to fouling, thereby lowering significantly the amount of data to be processed and the time required for specialist data processing. Prominent information on the use of suitable frequencies of investigation from the investigated set, as well as the relevant probability values of detection and false alarm, is provided.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1109/TGRS.2017.2683507
Additional Information: © 2017 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Keywords: Ground penetrating radar; entropy; railway ballast; ballast fouling; performance analysis
Subjects: Construction and engineering > Civil and environmental engineering
Construction and engineering > Digital signal processing
Construction and engineering > Electrical and electronic engineering
Construction and engineering > Civil and structural engineering
Depositing User: Fabio Tosti
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2017 12:31
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:51


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