In the railway sector, electronic and software systems play a major role, both in rolling stock and in infrastructure. The mechanical functions are progressively replaced by software command and control solutions, which depend on decentralized computers.
To this fundamental evolution comes a need to integrate new wired and wireless communication means in order to make the transport networks more and more communicating.
At the level of the rolling stock, we can cite the information of signaling in the driver’s cockpit, the automatisms or the real-time diagnosis of the equipment to facilitate the preventive and curative maintenance.
Passengers benefit from Wi-Fi connections, on-board entertainment platforms and real-time information systems, such as train speed.
Railway embedded systems are therefore ever more complex and innovative. They must respect extremely strong constraints. We can mention:
- The safety of operation, particularly sensitive at the system level.
- Advanced Analysis of Fault Modes, Effects and Criticality (FMEA). For each feature considered critical, the designer of the embedded system must be able to maintain it, for example via redundancy.
- Reliability in the long run. This involves designing embedded systems with a life expectancy of 10, 15 or 20 years with the lowest average MTBF (mean time to failure) possible. However, this does not exclude regular interventions on the rolling stock.
- Potentially restrictive thermal environments. For example, 6U VME boards, plugged into backplanes, must be able to continue to operate despite a fan failure.
- EMC constraints. The designer must ensure compliance with the electromagnetic compatibility of embedded systems.
- The cost. This point is noticeable for railway manufacturers who are fiercely competing, without neglecting the necessary overcapacity of equipment in order to be able to fit into a 10 or 20 year vision.
THE ELSYS AMERICA ADDED VALUE
For almost 20 years, ELSYS America has been the preferred partner of many customers at different levels of the value chain – system designers, equipment manufacturers and manufacturers.
Our added value lies in our ability to offer fully customized solutions. We design electronic boards with or without a microcontroller, with or without FPGA (for features that require more flexibility). We cover all the skills areas of embedded systems and are thus able to offer perfectly adapted electronic and software solutions, with particularly flexible technological choices.
Moreover, we can complete the triptych electronic board / microcontroller / FPGA with:
- A mechanical solution also personalized thanks to our specialized sister company named MECAGINE.
- Managing big data / cloud / HMI issues with AViSTO, our second sister company specializing in application software development.
In short, we are able to offer complete solutions, solving embedded and non-embedded system challenges, in critical environments requiring the implementation of safety standards.