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25 March 2009

Voith Turbo Scharfenbergs Offers New Contact-Free Data and Signal Transmission Facility

Voith Turbo Scharfenberg’s newest innovation allows passenger information, films, internet or telephone connections to be established by radio via automatic train couplers.

Voith is offering this new, contact-free data and signal transmission facility for electric couplers with immediate effect. The innovation will be used primarily in metro systems. There, virtually all carriages are fitted with screens informing passengers about the route and individual stops. The basic rule is: if trains offer infotainment equipment based on Ethernet technology, they are suitable for our radio system.

In the past a mechanical plug in the coupling between the train units had to ensure the necessary data connections. During coupling, these plugs and their contacts were subject to heavy strains by external influences such as high temperature fluctuations and contamination.

With its new development, Voith offers an alternative solution. Now all relevant data can be transmitted by radio via the electric coupler. This does not include electronic safety functions such as brakes, door-locking systems and controls. These are still governed via plug-in connections in the electric couplers.

Otherwise, the two components electronic box and radio coupler ensure reliable data transmission for all passenger, text and image information. The radio coupler and the electronic box are linked via a coaxial cable and installed in the front area. The data transmission works on the basis of WLAN standards (currently IEEE802.11g).

In future other standards (such as ultra wide band [UWB]) will be available. The radio coupler has been developed by Voith engineers as an identical coupler and a counter-coupler with an extremely robust design. For example, the front side is hermetically closed with a polyurethane (PU) seal.

With this elegant radio system, the problem of possible interferences or radiation never arises, because the transmission takes place in an enclosed space as a radio connection in a sub-short-range field. The transmitting and the receiving aerial are facing each other at a distance of only a few millimeters. Depending on the expansion level, data can be transmitted with a bandwidth of up to 100Mbit/s within the existing frequency band.

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