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12/23/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Cattron-Theimeg has patent pending for LRC hardware/software capabilities


Cattron-Theimeg Inc. recently announced that it has a U.S. patent pending for locomotive remote control (LRC) related hardware and software capabilities.



The company has developed a system and method for remote control of a number of locomotives on a single simplex (or half-duplex) wireless channel, according to a prepared statement. The Synchronized Time Sharing(TM) (STS) system uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) timing device onboard the locomotive along with two-way digital data radios, or operator control units (OCUs), to form a system that's designed to maximize radio spectrum efficiency to nearly 100 percent.



With STS, radio repeaters can be added to extend the operating range of remote-controlled trains. STS enables a fast response time for commands sent from the LRC operator to the locomotive; critical return data and warnings are sent instantaneously from the locomotive to the OCU, Cattron-Theimeg said. When configured for two operators, the data path can be used to send the status of the primary OCU to the secondary OCU.



STS includes illuminating indicators on the OCU that verify such commands as speed select and direction, and text messaging that completes the information link with speed, air pressure and other selected data. STS also allows for safe dismissal of the secondary operator when conditions and rules allow for single operator control.



"With the introduction of these capabilities into our ACCUSPEED system, we are entering a new age of performance capabilities in remote control locomotive technology," Vice President of Technical Planning and Support Robert Aiken said, adding that the technology could be applied to a variety of RF transmitter types and technologies, including narrow-band FM and Spread Spectrum.


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