About the project

The interdisciplinary evaluation of data from sensor systems in railroad traffic opens up new possibilities for the recording and evaluation of the condition of the main components, which are the vehicle and the structure. So far, data from monitoring systems on structures (mainly bridges) are already being used to carry out structural assessments and maintenance measures. Similarly, sensor systems installed on vehicles are used to monitor vehicle components. Inherently, however, the respective sensor systems collect data that contain further information: An instrumented train crosses a large number of bridges on its journey and a large number of trains cross an instrumented bridge. If an instrumented train crosses an instrumented bridge, both sensor systems can be calibrated; in the further course of the process, information about further non-instrumented trains can be collected from an instrumented bridge or information about further non-instrumented bridges can be collected when crossed from an instrumented train.

For this purpose, a digital tool for the in-situ monitoring of railroad bridge structures within the framework of a sensor-based predictive maintenance concept is to be developed, implemented and validated, using a BIM-integrated Digital Twin and artificial intelligence methods. The core objective is the development of a template for a highly automated and improved statement of the condition assessment (resonance hazard, structural safety and remaining service life) of existing railroad bridges. In pursuing this objective, the status data obtained by dynamic monitoring shall be considered through an automated and continuous update of the actual condition of the digital twin. Based on the status data, an artificial intelligence decides on the necessary adaption of the structural models to the actual state, taking into account the mechanical conditions of the structure.

Project partners

Institute of Structural Mechanics and Design
The Institute of Structural Analysis and Design bundles the research and teaching activities in the fields of structural analysis, structural dynamics, materials, building envelope and construction in order to achieve a uniform basis for material-compatible design and construction.

Institute of Numerical Methods and Informatics in Civil Engineering
The Institute of Numerical Methods and Computer Science in Civil Engineering deals with research and teaching on computer-based methods for modeling and simulation of engineering tasks. This includes conception, development and application of modern procedures and methods of information and communication technology for the design, construction and use of buildings, along with their interaction with the environment.

DB Netz AG
DB Netz AG is the rail infrastructure company of Deutsche Bahn AG. With more than 46,000 employees, it is responsible for the almost 33,400-kilometer-long railway network, including the approximately 25,200 bridges and all facilities required for operation. An average of 23,500 trains run on the infrastructure of DB Netz AG every day.

The central task is to provide the more than 420 railroad companies with an infrastructure of high quality and availability without discrimination and to manage the operation of the infrastructure. This also includes the continuous development of the rail infrastructure. The Technology and Facilities Management Bridge Construction department of DB Netz AG is responsible for the types of bridge construction and noise protection facilities with the associated regulations. Through targeted research and development, as well as through participation in national and international committees, this set of regulations is expanded as needed to ensure the strong rails.

Due to changes in the traffic on the rail network, such as the introduction of new high-speed trains or increasing wheelset loads, intensive studies are currently being carried out on their impact on maintenance and new construction requirements. These include methods of predictive maintenance, big data, dynamics and artificial intelligence.

Further information: DB – Starke Schiene & DB – Bridges

GMG Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH
GMG Ingenieurgesellschaft, with offices in Dresden and Berlin, is a planning office in civil engineering with core services in structural design and object planning in building and bridge construction, as well as structural testing, structural measurements and expert opinions on special civil engineering aspects.

For many years now, GMG Ingenieurgesellschaft has been working on challenging engineering projects on behalf of DB Netz AG, particularly in the fields of structural measurement and structural dynamics.

Among other things, several large bridges were equipped with monitoring systems in the course of the commissioning of the VDE8 high-speed line, accompanied by measurement technology.

Wölfel Group
Vibrations, structural mechanics and acoustics – these are Wölfel’s areas of expertise.

Since 1971, Wölfel has been developing solutions for customers all over the world, for the constantly new and diverse challenges in these areas. The Wölfel Group consists of three companies united under the roof of Wölfel Holding in order to be optimally positioned in all of our fields of competence:

Wölfel Engineering is focused on engineering solutions in our main competence fields vibrations, structural mechanics and acoustics. Our service portfolio ranges from expert reports prepared by consulting engineers to the turnkey delivery of systems to solve vibration problems.

Wölfel Monitoring Systems is the company for the development, production and supply of measuring and monitoring systems for vibrations, noise and immission control. As a system house, the company also provides technical support, trainings and application consulting.

Wölfel Wind Systems is focused on the series production, delivery and installation of SHM and CMS systems as well as systems for the reduction of vibrations and structure-borne noise for onshore and offshore wind turbines.

You can find further information at www.woelfel.de


ZEKISS is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure based on a resolution of the German Bundestag.
Further information: https://www.bmvi.de/…


Institute of Structural Mechanics and Design
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jens Schneider
Franziska-Braun-Straße 3
64287 Darmstadt

Institute of Numerical Methods and Informatics in Civil Engineering
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Rüppel
Franziska-Braun-Straße 7
64287 Darmstadt

DB Netz AG
Technik- und Anlagenmanagement Brückenbau
Dipl.-Ing. Jens Müller
Mainzer Landstraße 181
60327 Frankfurt am Main

Wölfel Engineering GmbH + Co. KG
Wölfel Engineering GmbH + Co. KG
Max-Planck-Str. 15
97204 Höchberg

GMG Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karsten Geißler
George-Bähr-Straße 10
01069 Dresden