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What's the deal with using GPS in trains?
There's a simple, compelling, theory around using GPS in trains: by using GPS for position information, coupled with train communication systems, the need for track-side signalling goes away. The massive infrastructure cost associated with signalling goes away as everything needed is on-board each train.

The reality surrounding this vision, however, is that rail infrastructure has to be heavily regulated and standards-driven due to the safety critical nature of the industry.

The vision is compelling enough, however, that it is receiving significant attention. Spirent is experienced in testing safety critical systems and has been involved at various levels in helping those involved. Examples of questions we have helped with include:
  • How to accurately model the railway environment with bridges, cuttings, tunnels and even high voltage electric cables.
  • How to develop appropriate test cases to assess the performance of candidate systems in a range of conditions, including extreme and error states
  • Input to the standardisation work on train positioning
  • How to deal with known error possibilities such as wheel slips or interference with the navigation systems.
If you're interested in rail positioning and GPS test solutions for rail applications please comment to this blog or get in touch with Spirent.
By: Andy Walker - 2/17/2011 6:41:33 PM
Tags: Railway

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