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Copting GmbH Smaragd

How the railway infrastructure can be monitored with the help of drone data and external data services.

In order to guarantee restrictions in the regular operation of the railway, bridges, overhead lines and routes of the railway infrastructure must be subjected to regular visual inspections. Since this would lead to disabilities during normal operating hours, such work is often carried out on the weekend or in night shifts, which usually also means road closures. This is personnel, time and cost intensive.

The aim of the project is to show that drones can use automatic, precise approaches to send suitable images that can be used for monitoring and diagnosing large-scale infrastructures. For this purpose, research activities are then carried out to improve the automatic image evaluation using Building Information Modeling (BIM). Analysis software should then enable the comparison and evaluation of selected elements from a reference database.

Link to project website


As part of the pilot project, it should be determined which parts of the infrastructure are suitable for an automatic evaluation of the image data and which aircraft and sensors are suitable for this. The implementation also deals with the regulatory issues and the implementation of the pattern recognition software. 

As a long-term goal, it is conceivable that fully automatic drones take off taking into account weather and traffic conditions and collect data on the condition for the maintenance companies.

Siemens Mobility GmbH, Munic
1.166.070 € (75% funding from BMVI)
08.2018 - 07.2020
Project partner
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., Köln
Copting GmbH, BraunschweigCopting GmbH, Braunschweig

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