Railway diagnostics

Data acquisition system for railway diagnostics

Railway diagnostics

The request

Our client is an international leader in the production of safety and diagnostic systems used in the railway sector.

We were brought on board to develop a new version of their deployed system which suffered from serious stability problems, unresolved despite years of use.

Starting from architectural specifications and adhering to mechanical, electromagnetic and environmental constraints, we took charge of designing all the boards comprising the system. These boards were installed directly on the tracks and communicated via 100Mbit Ethernet.

We were also tasked with developing firmware with hard real-time requirements, responsible for interfacing with fast ADCs and controlling motors, thermostats and performing diagnostics.

Challenges faced
Solutions

Remote monitoring system development

Requirements
  • Design electronic boards with stringent mechanical and environmental requirements
  • Implementation of firmware with hard real-time performance requirements
  • Management of production
Develer’s contributions
  • Electronic schematics, master PCB
  • Preliminary testing and validation
  • Embedded real-time code in C
  • Documentation for production and testing
Results
  • Very robust hardware
  • Extremely configurable and flexible firmware
  • Real-time performance
  • Ease of production and testing
Advantages of our solution
Advantages of our approach

All the hardware and firmware development was backed by agile methodology, test-driven development and Six Sigma. Our testing tools written in python, an excellent language for rapid prototyping, enabled us to avoid having to create expensive simulators for other components in the system that were unavailable at the time testing was carried out.

Advantages of open source

The firmware of each component in the system was built on top of BeRTOS, our open source real-time operating system. The language used for testing, Python, is also an open source product.

Staff

“A wide-reaching project with substantial contributions from Develer ranging from initial specifications through to deployment in the field.”

Francesco Sacchi Embedded Developer @Develer