Within Bernard Geomatics Limited we have established a research and innovation division, which is currently involved in collaboration with University of East London to research a low-cost photogrammetric system for railway surveying and monitoring. The research division is fully funded and promoted by the business, and the ultimate aim and objective is for the company to ‘give something back’ to the industry and to the land surveying and geomatics discipline, by identifying new working methods and technologies that are in line with technological development and are able to promote more powerful, cost-effective and safer working practices in the geomatics industry and, in particular, in the highway and railway environment (where risk to surveyors is much greater than in other working environments).
Ongoing research project:
“A Low-Cost Photogrammetric System for Railway Monitoring and Geospatial Data Acquisition”
- UK and European Railways:
Rail transportation is a major contributor to social vibrancy and economic competitiveness internationally, and is also an essential contributor to sustainable and environmentally-friendly travel for both public and commercial purposes. By 2030, 30% of European Union road freight is predicted to have shifted to rail and 50% by 2050, while high-speed rail should connect all major European cities (European Commission, 2011). Equally, the rail industry in the United Kingdom is vast and comprises a network of more than 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and tunnels and 9,000 level crossings (Network Rail, 2014).
- Department for Transport:
During the period between 2001 and 2011, government statistics show that 40% more passengers used the UK railways, and this trend is likely to increase (Department for Transport, 2011). The UK government’s long-term strategy is to develop a railway network that can handle double today’s level of freight and passenger traffic in a much safer, more reliable and environmentally-efficient way (Department for Transport, 2011).
- Government Objective:
The government’s objective could result in a move towards a ‘24/7’ society, resulting in even shorter and more restricted schedules for completing any railway engineering and maintenance work, including geospatial data acquisition. As a result of the above industry developments, Bernard Geomatics Limited is committed to making a direct contribution to the government strategy mentioned above by helping Network Rail and developing various railway applications and other low-cost, autonomous and simple-to-use geospatial systems that can be used for rapid geospatial data acquisition within the Permanent Way (P-Way) environment.