Multiple damage detection of maglev rail joints using time-frequency spectrogram and convolutional neural network

Su Mei Wang, Gao Feng Jiang, Yi Qing Ni, Yang Lu, Guo Bin Lin, Hong Liang Pan, Jun Qi Xu, Shuo Hao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Maglev rail joints are vital components serving as connections between the adjacent F-type rail sections in maglev guideway. Damage to maglev rail joints such as bolt looseness may result in rough suspension gap fluctuation, failure of suspension control, and even sudden clash between the electromagnets and F-type rail. The condition monitoring of maglev rail joints is therefore highly desirable to maintain safe operation of maglev. In this connection, an online damage detection approach based on three-dimensional (3D) convolutional neural network (CNN) and time-frequency characterization is developed for simultaneous detection of multiple damage of maglev rail joints in this paper. The training and testing data used for condition evaluation of maglev rail joints consist of two months of acceleration recordings, which were acquired in-situ from different rail joints by an integrated online monitoring system during a maglev train running on a test line. Short-time Fourier transform (STFT) method is applied to transform the raw monitoring data into time-frequency spectrograms (TFS). Three CNN architectures, i.e., small-sized CNN (S-CNN), middle-sized CNN (M-CNN), and large-sized CNN (L-CNN), are configured for trial calculation and the M-CNN model with excellent prediction accuracy and high computational efficiency is finally optioned for multiple damage detection of maglev rail joints. Results show that the rail joints in three different conditions (bolt-looseness-caused rail step, misalignment-caused lateral dislocation, and normal condition) are successfully identified by the proposed approach, even when using data collected from rail joints from which no data were used in the CNN training. The capability of the proposed method is further examined by using the data collected after the loosed bolts have been replaced. In addition, by comparison with the results of CNN using frequency spectrum and traditional neural network using TFS, the proposed TFS-CNN framework is proven more accurate and robust for multiple damage detection of maglev rail joints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-640
Number of pages16
JournalSmart Structures and Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • 3D convolutional neural network
  • damage detection
  • maglev rail joints
  • time-frequency spectrogram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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