Radio frequency planning tool for positive train control wireless networks

EDX Wireless releases SignalRail 2.0, an advanced RF planning module for the design of positive train control wireless network.

Eugene, Ore., February 24, 2011—EDX Wireless, an RF planning tools company, has announced EDX SignalRail, a flexible RF planning solution that incorporates advanced route-based studies specifically designed for planning positive train control (PTC) wireless networks, yet with broad application to other route-based transportation wireless network applications.

“The needs of an efficient rail PTC system differ greatly from standard wireless solutions and require a different approach to planning and optimizing," said Steve Webster, director of product management at EDX. “EDX has worked closely with the rail and transportation communities to define SignalRail, which is based on the extensive capabilities of our SignalPro suite of RF tools. We are very pleased to bring this unique and innovative industry specific product to market.”

PTC RF links are designed primarily for communication and control along a rail line, making the radio coverage and interference off the tracks less relevant to PTC operation. The EDX SignalRail Network Design Module incorporates several innovations in RF planning which simplify and improve the design and planning of RF networks for PTC systems. Based on the latest version of EDX SignalPro suite of RF planning tools, SignalRail concentrates calculations along the rail lines creating a high-resolution study that can be run more efficiently and quickly than a comparable study using conventional planning tools. The result is a more accurate representation of the interference, coverage and quality of RF service along the route of interest. In addition, EDX’s highly efficient implementation permits “what-if”scenarios to be rapidly analyzed and simplifies the comparison of various architectures and vendor equipment and their effect on overall performance. The focus on the specific rail route, rather than an area study, translates into higher performance, greater reliability and lower equipment costs.

SignalRail also includes the EDX Clutter Carving algorithm. Clutter Carving allows the use of easily obtainable digitized street data as a “cookie cutter” to carve street canyons out of low resolution clutter data files. The user specifies the widths of the street canyons which are then carved from the clutter. Suited to both planning and deployment phases, Clutter Carving allows the use of low cost, low resolution clutter data while still giving accurate propagation predictions from antennas that are mounted above rights-of-way but which are below the average surrounding clutter height. The benefit is that a user can employ freely available data that better represents the propagation environment, thereby improving accuracy while lowering design cost.

Signal Rail also enjoys broad application to any transportation related RF network where the same considerations of coverage and quality along a defined route, rather than an area, are important and where implementation costs and time to market are factors.

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