Locomotive Sand Level Sensor Development

Locomotives currently have no system in place to safely and accurately measure the level of sand in the on-board sanding containers which are used for traction during acceleration. This Senior Design Group partnering with Union Pacific has designed a system that remotely monitors the sand levels and displays the information to personnel in a safe, accurate and easy-to-read format. The prototype system that saves man-hours, eliminates necessary risk of injury, and will prevent downtime on the tracks from human error in estimating sand levels.

Union Pacific Railroad
Principal Investigator: 
Justin Breeland
Co-Principal Investigator(s): 
Jacob Glair
Kellen Murray
Jeff Langlois
Andrew Ranta
Meng Yang
Project Schedule: 
September, 2013 to April, 2014
Project Category: 
Rail Transportation Program
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI. 49931-1295
Phone: 1-906-487-3547
Fax: 1-906-487-2943
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