GPR survey for ballast investigation - pilot study


Scope of Work:

The purpose of the study was to explore the implementation of GPR technology for increasing the output efficiency of Ballast Cleaning Machine (BCM) for Indian Railways


Gandhinagar Railway Station, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.


Indian Railways


GSSI SIR-3000 equipped with 900 MHz and 400 MHz antenna


Movement of GPR machine over railway track


The GPR investigation has been carried out along the a stretches of length 95 m on platform at Gandhinagar Railway station, Gandhinagar to explore the applicability of GPR system for mapping buried targets in railway ballast. The objective of the survey was to map the possible scrap material eg. rail piece, concrete block, Optical fiber cables, signal transmitting cables and other metallic and non-metallic object material in the ballast using GPR. For the purpose, 9 possible target objects were buried along the proposed stretch at around every 10 m distance. The GPR carte was moved over the ply on railway track to achieve smooth movement and noise free data. It has been observed that during the screening of ballast using the Ballast cleaning machine, the presence of scrap in the ballast hinder the capacity of the machine as well as hampers the further screening work resulting in very less output than expected. Moreover, it does damage the existing cables which lead to great damage to the overall functioning of the railway system. Therefore, through this survey, the ability of GPR to map the scrap non-destructively has been explored so that, the possible scrap can be removed manually or the damage to the cables can be avoided, hence improving the efficiency of the ballast cleaning machine. In this study, it was observed that 8 out of 9 buried targets could be located using conventional system, whereas total twelve targets were located using our in-house developed analysis tool for weaksignal processing. The study suggested that GPR along with advance analysis tool is efficient for the forementioned requirement.

GPR survey at Gandhinagar
GPR survey at Gandhinagar
GPR survey at Gandhinagar