Safe track vacancy detection meets IoT: new sensor breaks boundaries
SENSiS makes digitalisation usable on the track
The new Frauscher Detection Point DP from the innovative SENSiS system combines the best of both worlds: Safe, precise and reliable wheel detection for signalling, via proven inductive wheel sensors meets possibilities enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT). These include extended sensor technology as well as flexible adaptability by innovative networking.
New Frauscher sensors: a communicative all-rounder
Michael Thiel, CEO Frauscher Sensor Technology, puts it in a nutshell: "With SENSiS we have succeeded in doing what nobody else has done before in the railway industry. We present an inductive wheel sensor that reliably detects trains but does much more: It evaluates the wheel sensor signals and digitizes them. It also collects a number of other data, for example on acceleration or temperature. This data is then evaluated in the sensor, processed and made available to a network in the form of useful information. With this sensor concept, we are in a position to meet all the requirements of modern axle counting systems - while eliminating the need for the entire interior system ".
First steps towards a digital future
Higher train densities, greater track utilization, increasing complexity - all of these require innovative systems to maintain operations. These, in turn, require reliable real-time data. "In order to cope with this, several different sensors would have been needed in the past - and the networks weren't that good either," summarizes Thiel. "Against this background, the SENSiS concept meets a central requirement - namely to reduce components while simultaneously increasing efficiency. Put simply: anyone installing a Frauscher axle counting system gets more than its reliability and performance. At the same time, they receive a network of track-side sensors that generate a range of additional information on the track or vehicle condition. In addition, project-specific adaptations can be easily imported and used via remote updates. This also applies to new functions, which will certainly be developed in the coming years. There are already numerous ideas as to how the wide range of information generated by the DP can be used in various applications." The new DP is a first step in this direction and shows that proven systems have to adapt in order to keep up with current requirements.
More ideas on the horizon
The DP also marks the beginning of a series of further developments that Frauscher is now looking forward to. The company's development department is already working on the next ideas. In the future, the new sensor will be operated independently via solar panels. A Bluetooth module and GPS data will support maintenance and repair work. Last but not least, the innovative coil design and the digital interface will enable a whole series of further optimizations. Therefore in the future Frauscher will continue to supply global railway markets with innovative products, that make it possible to deal with current requirements - and constantly raise the bar in the areas of wheel detection, axle counting and track vacancy detection.