We propose an algorithm which uses an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) for real-time tracking of trains. OTDR sensing, often also termed distributed acoustical sensing (DAS), measures the Rayleigh backscattering of a light pulse along an optical fiber. The resulting signal provides information on local acoustic pressure at linearly spaced positions along the fiber. While different approaches for train tracking with DAS are described in the literature, the results have been evaluated only for short time recordings with few train crossings. In this paper we provide details on the tracking performance of a novel algorithm that finds and tracks trains over 15km. Furthermore, this is the first contribution that uses ground truth data to assess the performance of the method. For the evaluation two one hour recordings are used.


Papp, A., Wiesmeyr, C., Litzenberger, M., Garn, H., & Kropatsch, W. (2016). A real-time algorithm for train position monitoring using optical time-domain reflectometry. In 2016 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Rail Transportation (ICIRT). 2016 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Rail Transportation, Birmingham, UK, EU. IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/icirt.2016.7588715