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ADLINK ETX Remote Monitoring Solution with Reliability, Scalability and Manageability

With the increasing deployment of high speed transportation systems worldwide and growing numbers using these systems, railcar security monitoring is of paramount importance in improving precision, safety and comfort of rail travel. Safety monitoring is critical for the rail industry, considering what may occur in a train accident or other mishap.

Effective safety monitoring requires the installation of a remote monitoring system to detect and analyse the status of rolling stock and send the information to onboard train operators and an off-site central control room to allow for instant reactions to abnormal situations or safety hazards. Timely data collection and analysis is critical for ensuring the safe arrival of passengers and cargo as scheduled.

Customer requirements
An onboard train safety monitoring system includes the deployment of a variety of sensors both inside and outside of rail cars system wide to collect safety-related data, including train speed, temperature, the open/closed status of doors and windows, and distance to other trains running on the same track. The sensor data is gathered by a nearby data acquisition unit and forwarded to an onboard server for data processing. The results of data analysis will be immediately displayed on screens installed in the locomotive cab and in the control centre for remote monitoring and management.

Challenges
Connectivity - achieving robust and reliable connections between devices in a real-time monitoring & control system to ensure undisrupted and accurate data transmission;

Ruggedness - considering the particularities of the operating environment of rolling stock, all devices onboard must be capable of withstanding harsh and constant shock and vibrations and extreme temperatures in widely varying geographic locations;

Manageability - since deployment of a transport system must provide years of serviceability, longevity support and system manageability, expandability and upgradability are key factors that need to be taken into consideration.

The solution
ADLINK's newest series ETX of computer-on-modules is a product that meets the connectivity, ruggedness, manageability, longevity and scalability needs of rail transportation applications.

ADLINK's ETX-BT module provides two high speed serial buses supporting Control Area Network (CAN) protocol, an industrial standard developed for internal networking of automotive and other vehicles to deliver a high degree of data consistency with error detection mechanisms. The ETXBT also provides Gigabit Ethernet via onboard connector to enable super fast data transmission.

ADLINK, as one of the most active players in ETX market, provides continuing support for the form factor by revamping our ETX product range with upgraded performance and new features enabled by the latest technologies. System developers can use any of our new modules as a drop-in replacement to easily upgrade older systems at minimum cost and maximum scalability to extend service life longevity.

The ETX-BT covers all the legacy functionality of the ETX specification while delivering the newest available features, such as two SATA 3Gb/s ports via onboard connectors and ADLINK's Smart Embedded Management Agent (SEMA) to provide remote monitoring and management. Comprised of a hardware board controller and a software suite, SEMA's remote hardware monitoring and control capabilities allow administrators or engineers in the control centre to remotely implement real time management.

In terms of ruggedness, the ETX-BT meets IEC 60068-2-64 and IEC-60068-2-27 standards for shock and vibration, and has an operating temperature range of -40oC to 85oC. A typical application scenario is that of China's high-speed rail system, where each train-car is equipped with ADLINK

ETX module-based data acquisition units collect data from digital cameras, temperature meters, sensors on doors and windows, accelerometers, and signals from wayside devices and other trains. The collected data is then transmitted to an on-board server via secure CAN bus communications, and the local server analyses the data to determine train status. When any monitored factor reaches a predetermined threshold or a safety hazard is determined, alerts and alarms are issued to allow staff onboard the train or in the control centre to take appropriate action.

Conclusion
ADLINK's newest ETX modules deliver all the legacy features of the ETX form factor, as well as the advantages of the latest highspeed interfaces and ADLINK's own technologies. SEMA allows system operators to remotely monitor the hardware and operating status of all onboard units and administer maintenance and repair tasks. This is particularly beneficial in a large transportation system that stretches over an extensive geographical area with many devices installed onboard moving vehicles. ADLINK's SEMA Cloud takes remote manageability step further by pushing data to the user's cloud server via any kind of TCP/IP connection, such as 3G, LAN or wireless LAN. System managers have easy access to data and analytics through a cloud portal, using devices such as desktop PC, tablet or smartphone.

Hitex (UK) Ltd exclusively distributes the ADLINK ETX modules in the UK. To find out more please visit www.hitexadlink.co.uk or contact Paul Roberts on 024 7669 2066

Author
Hitex (UK) Ltd

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