A CLEVER device involving acoustic analysis, machine learning and the Internet of Things, is expected to make things easier when transporting wind turbine blades.

South Australian company Ping Services has launched the device and chief executive Matthew Stead said they were investigating the development of applications for the rail freight industry.

He said something as simple as replacing a noisy bearing could prevent more serious damage occurring if the problem was not addressed.

“So that would be listening for things like wheel bearing damage on freight rail wagons,” he said.

“Those trains are going such long distances and wheel bearing issues can cause wheels to seize up and the potential for de-railment.”

Mechanical breakdowns and unplanned downtime can cost the freight industry big bucks.


Ping has also partnered with fellow South Australian space startup Myriota, a satellite communications company, to allow it to transmit data in remote areas without Internet or mobile phone coverage.

The key piece of technology is the algorithm that can rate the health of the turbine based on its acoustic signature and monitor changes over time.

The Adelaide company will this week install 55 of its listening devices on turbines at a wind farm in Victoria as part of a three-month pilot program.

The patented device, known as the 2.0, features the Myriota direct-to-orbit satellite connectivity and is powered by its own small solar panel.

The company’s hope is that large-scale trials will turn into commercial agreements, with the aim of producing 200,000 units in five years.