Tuesday, October 01, 2013

New from Cisco and Lilee Systems: PTC 1.0

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Wei Zou and Sean Merrow Wei Zou and Sean Merrow
In April 2013, Cisco and Lilee Systems announced plans for what they call “the industry’s first end-to-end communications network for PTC with a proof-of-concept network, located in the San Francisco Bay area, to verify communications architecture.”

Cisco and Lilee Systems said they intended to offer “an all-in-one solution that minimizes potential design and implementation risks, and provides for interoperability through proven and well-established technologies. The centerpiece of this architecture is the TransAir 220MHz Software Defined Radio, backhaul routers and switches, the core network, and a cloud computing platform. Each of these elements plays a key role in a robust communications structure where safety, performance, and efficiency are critical. A proof-of-concept network has been constructed in the San Francisco Bay Area to verify the end-to-end communication architecture.”

These efforts have produced Cisco Positive Train Control (PTC) 1.0, described as “the first system release to deliver a comprehensive Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for an end-to-end PTC solution. This system combines Lilee’s strength in software-defined PTC radios with Cisco’s expertise in network and transportation.”

The Lilee Systems portfolio, for which Cisco is OEM, delivers software-defined PTC radios located at base stations, along the track, and onboard the locomotive. The PTC radios are integrated with Cisco’s remote switching and Unified MPLS Mobile Transport for mobile backhaul to offer “a complete, fully redundant, and resilient PTC solution. The network can also scale to meet the needs of current rail deployments, while accommodating future capacity growth and new applications.”

“The primary benefit and key driver behind PTC is improving safety to help save lives and prevent rail accidents,” says Cisco Vice President of IoT Vertical Business Tony Shakib. “But, beyond rail safety, investment in PTC systems will also open up new business models for railways. New services that include video, voice, and wireless access enhance the passenger experience to make train travel more convenient and enjoyable. And, the convergence of train system monitoring over the same network will help reduce costs and cabling requirements.”

Cisco and Lilee Systems are showcasing PTC 1.0 at RSSI 2013 at Railway Interchange in Indianapolis. Other networking and mobility capabilities for rail, including Wi-Fi, are on display. Cisco is in Booth #3824 and Lilee Systems in Booth # 3507.