RMOP – Reliable MOdular Platform

Ref-Nr: TD2015-21

Technology abstract

A Portuguese SME offering a solution to 3rd party railway solutions developers with a known and standard interface with the guarantee that their systems will not cause any disturbance on other existing onboard systems. This will accelerate the installation of new onboard technologies and reduce the risk of new systems to the operation of the train. The company is open to various partnership options, namely commercial or service agreements.

Technology Description

The railway market has a very difficult entry mode for outside companies. The reason is related to the fear in the lack of reliability in the interference of outside parties in the satellite / train, which have the same criticality. Any entity that wants to make a product, involving on-board systems, has the same problem. They have to assure that the solutions do not interact with the critical systems, but through a demonstrator.
Presently, the railway market does not provide a single solution of a modular, reliable and safe system which is qualified to be used in critical applications.
Through the current offer, aligned with the European Commission directives for a more easy access to the railway technology, the interaction would be only through the company’s platform and, through it, to the railway operator. The technology offered considers a separation of responsibilities between operator/rail platform and the actual subsystem by implementing a proper certified hardware, middleware and software interfaces towards the train, while providing to any developer a clear baseline and standardization of interfaces for any product, service or technology being developed.
The system provides modularity without configuration problems as it is plug & play in off-the-shelf equipment with mechanical robustness, low power consumption allied to reliability and security. The technology can be directly applied to the railways because the system fulfils the fundamental requirements in terms of reliability and safety. This system can be used as a gateway between critical and non-critical networks providing an isolation avoiding failures propagation between the two networks. For high performance applications the two processors for multiprocessing applications in asymmetric or symmetric processing can be used depending on the features reach and criticality of the application. The system can be used as central control unit collecting information and dealing with several types of communications like CAN, Ethernet and RS422 for telemetry and telecommand exchanges. The goal is to make a product that has an easy installation to work with third-party equipment, without having the need of systematic interventions.

Innovations & Advantages

The system provides improvements to current solutions in terms of modularity as plug & play off-the-shelf equipment with mechanical robustness and lower power consumption allied to reliability and security.
This offer proposes the interaction with the train to be made only through the company’s platform and, through it, to the railway operator. This will accelerate the installation of new onboard technologies and diminish the risk of new onboard systems to the train operator. The price of new technologies is also expected to be lower since they will only need to interface with the company’s module and not the train itself.
The technology can be directly applied to the railways because the system fulfils the fundamental requirements in terms of reliability and safety. For transportation, the advantages of having a qualified equipment which is fault-tolerant (FT) serving as a gateway between critical (train central unit and main sensors/actuators) and non-critical networks (health, condition monitoring, etc) provides problem isolation. Besides, this technology will allow the creation of new products and services for any entity that wants to compete in the railway market without worrying about safety and reliability.
This is an overall significant simplification to the improvement of services. The business opportunity is about leveraging the development of new subsystems and on-board technologies to the train.
Train manufacturers can also adopt the same platform intrinsic to their products.

Further Information

Current and Potential Domains of Application

On-board systems for Railways
Condition Based Maintenance solutions
Critical Industrial Control