Overhead Wire Thickness for Trolleybuses

DTK has developed a measurement system for determining the exact residual cross-section of overhead trolleybus wires. Two lasers and two cameras are used to capture the contour of the wire.

Captured and Calculated Variables:

  • Overhead wire contour
  • Overhead wire twist
  • Overhead wire wear (residual height/residual cross-section)
  • Position on the route (GPS coordinates and route)
  • Speed

plus optionally:

  • Overhead wire height (rise and sag)
  • Shocks between pantograph and overhead wire


This measurement allows an objective statement to be made about the condition of the overhead wire and forecasts made of its remaining service life and the time at which, assuming the rate of wear to be constant, the wire must be replaced.


Comprehensive, user-friendly evaluation software uses algorithms to represent the overhead wire contour from the captured data and allows a visual comparison to be made with the ideal contour.

It also helps the user to identify significant occurrences such as points at which the wire cross-section is less than the specified residual value. The software can also be used to select particular sections and the relevant video sequences of the panorama view and the overhead wire contour for that section can be viewed. If required, DTK’s measurement system can be used to display and evaluate the forces acting in the x, y and z axes on the contact shoe.

Measurement system images


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