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United States : Researchers trying to develop early-warning hazard system for trains.

A Tel Aviv University researcher, working in collaboration with teams from seven countries, is developing an early-warning hazard system for the world's railways.

Prof. Lev V Eppelbaum of TAU's Department of Geophysics & Planetary Sciences and his colleagues are collecting high-tech sensing data from satellites, airplanes, magnetic and soil sensors, and unmanned aircraft to devise a solution that will provide a reliable early-warning system for train operators.

It's all part of the European Project FP7 research, "Integrated System for Transport Infrastructures Surveillance and Monitoring by Electromagnetic Sensing," which includes participants from Israel, Italy, France, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Romania. The international team of researchers aims to connect emerging technologies so that train accidents caused by avalanches, earthquakes and even terrorists can be avoided.

"Sinkholes, avalanches, landslides, earthquakes, flash floods - these disasters can cause train wrecks anywhere around the world. We are hoping to develop a platform that can be fitted to any railway, passenger or freight carrier, to better predict natural disasters and possible terror attacks on rail lines," said Prof. Eppelbaum.

He said his part of the study should be completed by next year.

"We are creating a new interpretation system - allowing us to integrate cutting-edge technologies from across Europe," he said, adding that the biggest challenge, right now, is eliminating background "noise" from the data being collected.

Climatic features and parameters such as soil types and physical geography can be very different from one region to another, which makes the work even more of a challenge. Some of Prof. Eppelbaum's recent research advances have been reported in the Zeitschrift fur Geomorphologie, the Journal of Arid Environments and the Proceedings of the SAGEEP Conference (USA).

The international team also hopes to examine the additional risk of terror attacks on trains. While all the other data collected by the research teams will be made public, this section will remain top secret.

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Publication:TendersInfo
Date:Jul 28, 2010
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