IP Video systems manufacturer IndigoVision is providing the technology behind an innovative train safety monitoring system. Georgia-based locomotive manufacturer CLCX, Inc. has fitted an IP Video CCTV system to a freight locomotive to enhance operational safety, improve ease of use and provide a diagnostic tool in the event of problems. The locomotive operates on a manufacturing site moving raw materials and finished goods. The IP Video system helps improve operational safety by giving the train operator 360 degree visibility.
The CCTV system, designed and configured by IndigoVision's authorized partner Mobilcomm, also serves as a video and audio event recorder. This is very important if an incident like an accident or near miss should occur. By recording CCTV footage of any incidents, from one of the six cameras mounted on the locomotive, the owner of the locomotive can provide evidence showing the facts of the incident.
The self-contained mobile CCTV solution consists of six fixed cameras with microphones installed on the outside of the locomotive. The cameras are connected to IndigoVision's MPEG-4 8000 transmitter/receiver modules which convert the analogue video and audio to hi-resolution digital streams for transmission over the local Ethernet LAN within the train. 'Control Center', IndigoVision's IP Video and Alarm Management software is installed together with Network Video Recorder (NVR) software on a PC running Windows Server 2003. ‘Control Center' allows the operator to view live and recorded video from any of the cameras and provides a suite of tools for fast analysis of video footage. Video can be exported for evidential purposes.
An additional mobile camera is connected to the locomotive's local network via a 20m Ethernet cable. This allows any of the on site maintenance personnel to video any part of the locomotive in the event of an incident or failure. Live images can then be transmitted, via a broadband VPN connection, back to a technician located at a remote maintenance service centre. The technician can then direct and/or assist in troubleshooting and repairs. The Internet connection is achieved via a wireless access point located at the switching yard. High-quality audio is also transmitted with the video allowing a two-way conversation between the service centre and the locomotive technician. An 802.11 wireless network, also mounted onboard the locomotive, allows the cameras to be viewed and controlled by the technician from a handheld PC.
Following the successful pilot project, CLCX, Inc. is now offering the IndigoVision IP Video solution as an option on all its new freight locomotives.
Commenting on the project, Carl Majors, President of CLCX, Inc., said, "The IndigoVision solution gives the locomotive operator a 360 degree view with no blind spots. The locomotives are Ethernet controlled. The IndigoVision IP solution is dropped right in to achieve optimum operating efficiency, reliability, and safety. Further, these automated locomotives are a one or two person operation making them user friendly and economical. We are pleased with this solution and so are our customers. We especially like the quality of the video."
IndigoVision's IP Video technology is increasingly being used for applications outside mainstream CCTV security due to its versatility, flexibility and excellent video quality. The CLCX locomotive is just one example; others include remote diagnostic systems, mobile robotic vehicles for law enforcement and audio-visual medical training solutions.