Protran Technology has been awarded a grant by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) to develop and test the Intelligence Rail Integrity System (IRIS) to give advance warning of rail buckling and breaks,
with the support of the Federal Transit Administration and recommendations from the National Transit Safety Board to incorporate safety technology as secondary warning.
Protran Technology partnered with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and under Stage 1 of the grant, Protran Technology has provided a real-time network of remote sensors installed on continuous welded rail.
The IRIS continuously monitors changes in rail temperature, stress and rail neutral conditions. When the system detects a possible rail buckling or break, an alert with the location and conditions are sent to a vehicle in the area, as well as designated personnel by text and/or e-mail.
As part of Stage 2 of the TRB grant, Protran Technology will test sending real time alerts to the operators of trains prior to entering the area IRIS identified as a rail buckling/break threat.