The tCat equipment incorporates powerful processing software with two different functions:
- Field measurement functionality: “NEW SURVEY”
- Back-office analysis functionality: “SURVEY ANALYSIS
In today’s article, we will focus on the “SURVEY ANALYSIS” functionality and its feature of exporting the information contained in a measurement session to multiple formats.
Often, the work of sampling catenary heights and staggers executed by conventional means (e.g. laser gauges), generates different frustrations to a back-office user. That is even more obvious if the person performing the field campaign and the person analyzing the data are not the same.
Some common problems are:
- The information recorded in the field is insufficient, incomplete and/or limited (e.g. height and stagger measurements are included but, once the field campaign has finished, measures to other elements of interest of the railway environment cannot be recovered).
- Transcription errors may appear at the field workbook.
- To correct errors related to data collection at each sampling point, it is necessary to move back to the field to repeat the measurement, resulting in inefficiencies and time losses.
- Generating valuable reports, such as height and stagger charts versus stationing; or CAD drawings for each section, results in high time consuming, tedious and repetitive tasks.
The possibility of generating standardized reports by using the “SURVEY ANALYSIS” functionality allows you to create, in a matter of seconds, session reports of tens of kilometers in length, with hundreds of profiles:
- Workbook reports in spreadsheet format (.xlsx) or .csv.
- CAD drawings (.dxf) with a presentation per profile.
- 3D point cloud in .txt
- Collection of front and azimuthal photographs per profile.
The versatility of these functions offered by the tCat software is clear. We want to highlight in this article the automated generation of CAD drawings, and the possibility to present graphically the geometric parameters exported to the workbook.
CAD drawings per profile
By selecting the session that we want to export in CAD, we can load several block types:
- Blocks for drawer.
- Blocks for loading gauges (rolling stock/infrastructure).
- Blocks for contact wire/messenger wire/rigid catenary beam.
- Blocks for datasheet (height/stagger/pole offset or REFOS).
- Track blocks (rail + sleepers).
This allows you to automate certain repetitive tasks for a back-office user. The blocks are fully customizable, easing the adaptation to the specific needs of each client.
In addition, the user can choose the automatic dimensioning of height & stagger on each drawing.
The result is a .dxf file, editable with any CAD software. It includes as many print sheets as the number of measurement points contained in the survey. There is also the possibility to filter by stationing within each survey data. This is usual whenever the client needs a different CAD file for each catenary section overlap.
Drafting of plots based on the workbook exported data
In addition, based on the information contained in the workbook, the tCat back office user can generate interesting plots, for example:
Contact wire height vs STA. plot
Contact wire stagger vs STA. plot
Track cant vs STA. plot
Track gauge vs STA. plot