Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Constantine Tarawneh

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen Crown

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Jones


Wayside hot-box detectors (HBDs) are devices that are currently used to evaluate the health of railcar components including bearings, axles, and brakes by monitoring their temperatures. While HBDs have been instrumental in reducing some train derailments in the past few decades, the number of non-verified bearing removals has increased significantly. In general, HBDs tend to underestimate bearing temperatures in both field service and in laboratory testing, which is not surprising considering the simple two-point calibration method that is used to calibrate these devices. Because of this, different calibrations were compared and analyzed including two-point, three-point, and multi-point calibrations. Analysis of the results also suggests that the scanning location significantly affects the temperature measurement. The work in this thesis summarizes how an optimized calibration technique along with proper IR sensor alignment can markedly improve the accuracy and precision of HBD temperature measurements.


Copyright 2018 James Alexandro Aranda. All Rights Reserved.