A methodology for alignment of measured rail profiles in turnouts as a basis for reliable vehicle/track interaction simulations

Josef Fuchs*, Gabor Müller, Kamil Sazgetdinov, Erich Wipfler, Ingolf Nerlich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the development of condition monitoring algorithms for turnouts, an extensive dataset consisting of measurement and simulation results is required. The basis for reliable simulation results are precise and easy applicable measurement techniques of the turnout geometry, like 3D handheld scanners. The challenge in using the data from portable 3D scanners for vehicle/track interaction simulation lies in the correct alignment and preparation of the measured surface. In this paper, a methodology for pre-processing of 3D scanner measurement results is presented, based on turnout measurements with the device HandySCAN 700 from Creaform. Point cloud processing methods like Principal Component Analysis and Iterative Closest Point algorithm are used to align the measured surface to a reference frame. Interpolation of the measured points by CAD reference data is applied for repairing the profile sections due to missing surface points. Furthermore, comparisons were made regarding the quality of simulation results for different input sources. It can be shown that the results have a good quality agreement in respect of different profile measurements techniques. Thus, it could be shown, that the data from the portable 3D scanner can be used for multibody dynamic simulation after appropriate preparation with the presented method.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalVehicle System Dynamics
Early online date21 Sept 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Sept 2021


  • Switches and crossings
  • 3D surface scanning
  • vehicle/track interaction
  • multibody dynamics
  • condition monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing

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