Low-level airborne rail survey a first for Australia - Public Transport Authority of Western Australia
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Low-level airborne rail survey a first for Australia


An aerial survey of the Perth metropolitan railway system will be carried out this weekend, using airborne laser scanning for the first time in Australia.

The latest technology uses a low-flying helicopter to provide high-density, precise images which can be combined with other information to build an integrated information system.

Public Transport Authority Acting CEO Reece Waldock said today that the survey would provide accurate, detailed video and photo mapping of the railway line and all fixed assets along the urban rail network.

“This will enable us to create a thorough, up-to-date data base to manage and maintain the lines and assets in the most efficient manner,” Mr Waldock said.

“This state-of-the-art technology has been used internationally, but never before in Australia.

“It provides images which are far superior to the photos produced by the metropolitan area aerial survey made 10 years ago.

“Again we are leading the way in building the most modern, efficient rail service.”                                         

Depending on weather conditions, the survey will start tomorrow (Friday, January 30) and take three days.  A helicopter carrying the equipment will fly over all suburban rail lines and depots at an altitude of 70m.

It will be equipped with two digital still cameras, two digital video cameras and an airborne laser scanning system which meets international “eye safe” health standards.

As well as the forward-looking video images, it will take still photographs looking straight down and oblique forward, extending a width of 125m to cover the railway corridor.

Mr Waldock said West Perth-based Fugro Spatial Solutions had been commissioned to undertake the work.

He said the equipment, from Holland, would be installed in a local helicopter and three trainers from an overseas arm of the company would train local operators to carry out the survey.
“Our operational people have been alerted and signs will advise drivers along the Mitchell Freeway so that they will not be startled by the sight of a low-flying helicopter with a steel antenna on each side,” he said.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority approval had been gained, and Main Roads WA, police and local authorities adjacent to the survey route had been advised.

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