Wabtec Taps Septentrio for PTC GPS Receivers

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Wabtec has partnered with Septentrio, a Belgian manufacturer of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) equipment, to supply GPS receivers for its GoLINC™ Edge locomotive onboard mobile data center platform, “providing positioning, connectivity and data storage, and enhancing Positive Train Control (PTC) with the adoption of even higher-precision positioning technology.”

Two GNSS receivers are installed on a locomotive to provide precise positioning information as part of the GoLINC system. Septentrio receivers are also being installed as position reference modules along 30,000 miles of U.S. freight railroad right-of-way. They will provide GNSS corrections to the onboard “rover receivers” for “reliable and accurate positioning, even in difficult environments such as when tracks run alongside mountains, around cliffs or under foliage,” Wabtec said. 

Wabtec’s GoLINC system, which is integrated with the company’s PTC technology, is comprised of networking, communications and applications management platforms. GoLINC “makes trains smarter by collecting numerous parameters about the train and its route,” the company said. Beyond PTC (so-called “PTC 2.0”), the high-precision [wayside] GPS infrastructure will enable other applications, such as drone flights for rail inspection.”

“The Septentrio GNSS receiver was chosen based upon its superior performance, and has proven to have the technology advantage that our customers are looking for,” said Wabtec GoLINC Product Manager Michael Miner.

“For two decades, Septentrio has been delivering GNSS receivers to customers requiring accuracy, reliability and safety,” said Septentrio Vice President of Global Sales Neil Vancans. “We have pioneered and fine-tuned capabilities such as position reliability and interference robustness driven by our customers in markets such as offshore energy, mining and construction. Over the past several years we have been working closely with the transportation and logistics sector as well. Cooperation with Wabtec offers an excellent opportunity to further deploy our high-precision positioning technology in the rail industry, where the unique capabilities of our GNSS hardware and software match perfectly with the accuracy and safety demands of PTC.”

Septentrio will be exhibiting its latest GNSS receivers at Railway Interchange.

*GNSS refers to a constellation of satellites providing signals from space that transmit positioning and timing data to GNSS receivers. The receivers then use this data to determine location. By definition, GNSS provides global coverage.

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