Aurora Xi

Tie Inspection & Services

Aurora Xi

Aurora Xi® builds on our patented Aurora® track inspection technology that’s been put to use to ensure the safety of miles upon miles of track around the world. While Aurora scans the surface of your track to reveal potential problems, Aurora Xi uses backscatter x-ray technology to look inside wooden crossties to reveal everything from the depth of splits to hollow spots in ties.

Aurora Xi is a 2016 R&D 100 Finalist. The R&D 100 Awards recognize excellence in innovation and have earned the name the “Oscars of Invention.”

Wood Tie Grading

Wood tie fails are often due to decay and deterioration that isn’t visible from the surface. Aurora Xi combines both surface and internal images to find hollow or damaged areas in the tie that inspectors might miss. It then assigns a grade to each tie so you can forecast a ties remaining life accordingly.

Data Management

Aurora Xi provides easy-to-understand reports tailored to your railway’s specific needs. Tie grade reports make it easy to forecast the life of your ties and plan replacement programs accordingly. Detailed compliance reports allow you to confirm that you have at least the minimum number of effective wood ties in a segment, uncover rail joints with defective crossties.

Optimized Tie Set Out (TSO)

Utilizing Aurora inspection data as well as the railroad’s tie replacement logic to identify exactly which ties need to be replaced, the TSO system can then optimize the plan for tie distribution, allowing you to know exactly where to set out ties and eliminate the need for someone to walk the track and physically mark where to set out ties ahead of the tie distribution team.

The software allows the user to know where to set out ties and how many are required for each drop as they travel along the track. The result is ties that are much closer to where they will be installed, allowing for increased productivity for tie replacement teams as they will spend less time moving ties around to the appropriate install location.

  • Hyrail truck
  • Powered by backscatter x-ray technology and using a 3D surface scanner, Xi goes beyond the surface of the tie to reveal internal defects
  • Can create customized tie models for your railroad
  • Helps you easily prioritize ties for replacement
  • More reliable than manual inspections

US Patent #7616329
US Patent #8081320
US Patent #8209145
US Patent #8405837
US Patent #8711222
US Patent #8958079
US Patent #9031188
US Patent #10151716
US Patent #10416098
US Patent #10436725
US Patent #11433929

Aurora XI spec sheet cover



Measurement of the Modulation Transfer Function for Backscatter Radiography System Used in Nondestructive Examination


Automated Sleeper Inspection Using Internal Imaging Techniques


Automated Crosstie Inspection Using Internal Imaging Techniques