Deutsche Bahn relies on Quantum-Systems drones to inspect its route network

Deutsche Bahn relies on Quantum-Systems drones to inspect its route network

DB Fahrwegdienste GmbH is once again purchasing Trinity F90+ drones for undisrupted detection of storm damage and vegetation near the track.

Gilching, Germany, 3rd of August 2020 – DB Fahrwegdienste has again decided to implement Quantum-Systems Trinity F90+ drones to be used for storm damage detection and vegetation inspection near the track. geo-konzept GmbH, as a sales partner, has helped DB Fahrwegdienste to obtain enough of the Trinity F90+ VTOL drones for each of the seven branches allowing for maximum coverage track and area inspection.

DB Fahrwegdienste GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of DB Netz AG. They are responsible for services along the infrastructure of DB Netz AG. To fulfil the prescribed traffic safety obligation in regards to vegetation, this must be inspected, documented and evaluated by qualified personnel at least once a year along the entire route network. Railway traffic should not be disrupted during these inspections. Checking and maintaining the 33,499 km long network and the constantly growing vegetation near the tracks is a time-consuming and demanding task.

Using the fully automatically operated Trinity F90+ drones, data acquisition is fast and digital, which is a considerable simplification and time saver. The drones fly over pre-defined route sections and take aerial photographs for the regular inventory. In addition, they can react quickly after possible damage events, such as storms or severe weather, and record and document the damage along the route network from the air. And all this without disruption to rail traffic.

With the help of future autonomously operated long-range drones from Quantum-Systems, we would be able to inspect the tracks during flight operations out of sight (BVLOS) much faster and more efficiently than with conventional terrestrial recording. Already today, the high-quality and objective recording of vegetation and track infrastructure by means of a VTOL drone with all the analysis options in data evaluation is a real added value for internal tasks

Matthias Maier

Project manager for digital remote sensing, DB Fahrwegdienste GmbH

Quantum-Systems GmbH is pleased to be able to support DB Fahrwegdienste GmbH with new VTOL UAS and sees it as a confirmation of the good cooperation with its customer. Beginning in September 2019, both companies have been working on the fully automated recording of vegetation near the track and storm damage along the Deutsche Bahn route network with the Trinity F90+ drones as part of the “FreeRail” project. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure within the framework of the Modernity Fund (“mFUND“) funding guideline. It deals with a digital solution for the growing challenges in the maintenance of Deutsche Bahn’s railway tracks.

DB Fahrwegdienste GmbH is an important strategic customer and partner for us. Our joint research work is focused on data-based digital applications to drive tomorrow’s mobility. The potential of drones is far from being exhausted in this context. Sustainable decisions are to be made based on data. And it is precisely this data that we provide with our drone technology. At any time, at any place and in the highest quality.

Florian Seibel

CEO, Quantum-Systems GmbH

After successful completion of the project and the test phase, Matthias Maier plans to equip all branches with several VTOL drones to support the beyond visual line of sight operations and to train several pilots for the mission.

About DB Fahrwegdienste GmbH

DB Fahrwegdienste GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of DB Netz AG and a reliable partner in system services for all aspects of railway maintenance.

With its approximately 3,000 employees, DB Fahrwegdienste GmbH is a specialist in the maintenance of vegetation along the entire German rail network, secures track construction sites of all kinds with state-of-the-art technology and supports railway projects with the delivery and removal of materials.

Across Germany, 7 branches with 36 regional service divisions manage the maintenance of around 60,000 track kilometers and the securing and supply of more than 100,000 construction sites annually.

About Quantum-Systems GmbH

Quantum-Systems GmbH, founded in Munich in 2015, specializes in the development and production of automatic transition aircrafts for a wide range of professional and civil applications. The more than 65 employees (growing) work intensively on combining reach and electrical efficiency with the ability to vertically take off and land (VTOL) without additional equipment.

Contact:
Claudia Steinhoff
csteinhoff@quantum-systems.com
+49 8105 24150 46

Modernity Fund (mFUND) for project “FreeRail” approved

Modernity Fund (mFUND) for project “FreeRail” approved

FreeRail Project – Automated recording of vegetation near the tracks and of storm damage along the Deutsche Bahn network with autonomously operated drones (Trinity)

The “FreeRail” project, which has been running since September 2019, will be funded under the Modernitätsfond (“mFUND“) funding directive with a total of EUR 2.82 million from 1 September 2019, 67% of which will be funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. A big step for the network coordinator Quantum-Systems GmbH and its project partners.

The project consortium consists of experts from DB Fahrwegdienste GmbH, geo-konzept GmbH, Technical University Ingolstadt and the city of Ingolstadt under the project management of the network coordinator Quantum-Systems GmbH. The starting point of the joint project “FreeRail” deals with a digital solution for a growing problem in the maintenance of the infrastructure of Deutsche Bahn (DB).

Fully automated railway inspection as one goal for the FreeRail project

Controlling and maintaining the constantly growing vegetation along DB’s 33,440 km long rail network is a time-consuming and challenging task for DB Fahrwegdienste GmbH. In order to comply with the prescribed traffic safety obligation, the vegetation along the entire route network must be inspected, documented and evaluated by qualified personnel at least once a year. At the same time, rail traffic should not be disrupted during this control work.

In the “FreeRail” project, the scientific and technical principles of a future, fully automated, drone-based system for digitized vegetation control and registration of damage following storms along Deutsche Bahn’s route network are to be developed by February 2022. On the one hand, the aim is to design and investigate the technologies and operating processes required for this. On the other hand, a functional demonstrator is to be developed and tested on a selected route section.

Trinity eVTOL UAV combined with self-contained drone hangar

With the help of a long-range drone from the Trinity UAV line from Quantum-Systems GmbH, which is capable of vertical launch, different sensor data will be collected along the test track. The drone will take off and land fully automatically from a self-sufficient drone hangar permanently stationed in the immediate vicinity of the test track. Using a special communication and data processing system, the collected data is automatically evaluated and transferred to the responsible employee of DB Fahrwegdienste GmbH.

Within the framework of traffic control and digital infrastructure management in Bavaria, the project will now receive financial support from the mFUND of the BMVI as of 01.09.2019.

With the mFUND research initiative, the BMVI has been supporting research and development projects on data-based digital applications for mobility 4.0 since 2016. In addition to financial support, the mFUND supports networking between actors from politics, business and research with various event formats, as well as access to the data portal mCLOUD. Further information can be found at www.mfund.de.

Quantum-Systems supplies drone technology to inspect Deutsche Bahn’s infrastructure

Quantum-Systems supplies drone technology to inspect Deutsche Bahn’s infrastructure

In order to monitor BVLOS (Beyond visual line of sight) infrastructures, DB relies on drones from Quantum-Systems for the “Urban Air Mobility” project in Ingolstadt.

Ingolstadt strives to become one of the competence centers for drones and autonomous mobility in general. Thus the model project “Urban Air Mobility”, which is also supported by the EU Commission, was launched.

Deutsche Bahn is a partner in this project and has been using numerous drones in pilot projects since 2015 to test their suitability for inspection tasks. UAVs from Quantum-Systems were always present at these tests, such as the Tron 2016 in the picture above.

The Urban Air Mobility project now strengthens the will to continue research into the suitability of drone technology for monitoring infrastructures such as Deutsche Bahn’s rail network and to take advantage of the benefits for DB and (rail) customers.

This will make it possible to react much more quickly and cost-effectively to operational disruptions. The (cost) advantages of using drones are also obvious during routine inspections, for example of vegetation in the track area.

Picture Copyright: Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang

On January 17th The Minister of State for Digitisation Dorothee Bär, DB Board Member for Digitisation and Technology Prof. Dr. Sabina Jeschke and the Mayor of Ingolstadt Dr. Christian Lösel signed a declaration of intent. In model tests, the use of drones and flying taxis as well as the necessary framework conditions are to be investigated (second row right: Dr. Reinhard Brandl, CSU Member of Parliament for Ingolstadt constituency).

The drone in the foreground is the Trinity F9, which was newly introduced in 2018. Thanks to PPK for position determination, it is possible to make high-resolution image material available here at low cost for a wide range of evaluations.

The signing took place on the margins of a meeting of the “Innovation Council” of the Minister of State, which took place at the invitation of Sabina Jeschke at the DB headquarters in Berlin. The aim of the committee is to promote digitisation in Germany through close exchange between politicians, companies and start-ups.

Quantum-Systems is proud to provide its unmanned aerial expertise for this project.

For us the exchange with the involved parties is important to optimize processes and scenarios in the daily use of our UAV systems and to adjust them as well as possible to the requirements of the users and authorities.

The newest UAV by Quantum-Systems, the Trinity F9

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