In the Netherlands ProRail is responsible for more than 7000 km of railway tracks, 2600 crossings and 400 stations. Their daily concern is the servicing, the renovating and the safety of the railway infrastructure. Through performance-oriented contracts ProRail outsources the actual work to contractors like Inspectation, a VolkerRail company.
To perform the maintenance task effectively and efficiently it is important to have a real-time overview of the status and condition of the infrastructure. Therefor Inspectation measures and collects the required data. It does this by visual inspections, manual measurements and more and more by collecting data from sensors in the infrastructure. These data are analyzed by software applications and when deviant behavior is recognized work orders are send to the service team automatically.
For this purpose INCAA Computers was selected to develop the data acquisition system and deliver the required parts like:
- Processor and Communication modules
- Analog input modules
- Digital I/O modules
These are the building blocks of each system. They measure the analog or digital status of the input sensors and compare the behavior of each input or a group of inputs with their normal behavior and recognize so called events. The corresponding data of such event is then send to a central server where the data is collected from other field systems as well. In the server application the data is processed further.
All components are railway certified according the applicable standards and are designed, manufactured and delivered by INCAA computers. Other components designed by INCAA are:
- Device Gateway (Server application)
- Data viewer (Web application)
- Data player (test application)
- Configuration, maintenance and support tool
Further developments include migration to the Windows Azure platform and integration of the OPC UA standard.