Identification of Bending Modes of Vibration in Rails by a Laser Doppler Vibrometer on a Moving Platform

Antonina Pirrotta, Giuseppe Battaglia, Salvatore Salamone, Ebrahimkhanlou, Kaynardag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper introduces a method to identify the bending modes of vibration of railway tracks by using a laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) mounted on a moving platform. Two sets of experiments were conducted at Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI) in Pueblo Colorado, in order to validate the proposed method. First, the bending vibration modes were identified using the signals collected from a rail span (rail section between two consecutive sleepers) by accelerometers under moving car excitation. Then, vibration measurements from rail spans were obtained by using an LDV mounted on the moving railcar. All tests were carried out at four different rail car speeds: 8 km/h (5 mph), 16 km/h (10 mph), 35 km/h (22 mph), and 45 km/h (28 mph). To find LDV signal segments corresponding to rail spans, a novel approach based on the sleeper passing frequency is introduced. Comparison of the results from both sets of tests demonstrated good agreement for all speeds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Techniques
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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