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Wireless communications based system to monitor performance of rail vehicles

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2 Author(s)
B. Nejikovsky ; ENSCO Inc., Springfield, VA, USA ; E. Keller

This paper describes a recently developed remote monitoring system, based on a combination of embedded computing, digital signal processing, wireless communications, GPS, and GIS technologies. The system includes onboard platforms installed on each monitored vehicle and a central station located in an office. Each onboard platform detects various events onboard a moving vehicle, tags them with time and location information, and delivers the data to an office through wireless communications channels. The central station logs the data into a database and displays the location and status of each vehicle, as well as detected events, on a map. Waveform traces from all sensor channels can be sent with each event and can be viewed by the central station operator. The system provides two-way wireless communication between the central station and mobile onboard platforms. Depending on coverage requirements and customer preferences, communication can be provided through satellite, circuit-switch cellular, digital wireless communication links or a combination of these methods. Settings and software changes may be made remotely from the central station, eliminating the need to capture the monitored vehicle. The onboard platform can be configured for installation on any rail vehicle, including locomotives, passenger cars and freight cars. Depending on the application, the onboard platform can monitor either its own sensors or existing onboard sensors. The system has been used for several railroad applications including ride quality measurement, high cant deficiency monitoring, truck hunting detection, and locomotive health monitoring. The paper describes the system, these applications, and discusses some of the results

Published in:

Railroad Conference, 2000. Proceedings of the 2000 ASME/IEEE Joint

Date of Conference:

2000