Lat-Lon, LLC. in partnership with NYAB, has executed a large smart car and locomotive monitoring contract for Etihad Rail in the UAE. The project equips 240 sulfur wagons with 13 individual wireless sensors per car, reporting to a newly developed Receiver Logic Unit (RLU). Over 3,200 sensors report hatch status, door position, bearing temperature, and vibrations for derailment. The specs for this project required new development which broke ground in February of 2012, with final delivery from Lat-Lon in August of 2012. The last delivery of the partnered system to the UAE was completed in September, with full execution scheduled this month.
The data produced from the Lat-Lon system is routed through NYAB’s Smart Car Sensor Hub and into the Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brake communications/power cable for presentation at the locomotive. "Etihad Rail is pushing the state-of-the-art in rail technology with this project," said Lat-Lon’s president and CEO, David Baker. "Now a unit train can load and unload automatically, much like a commuter train opens and closes its doors at a station."
Safety is enhanced with the new system, through the monitoring of bearing temperature and derailment detection. And environmental issues are minimized with the ability to detect the potential for sulfur release due to misconfigured hatches or dump gates. Reading exact degrees of tilt for derailment possibility on each wheel set, along with bearing temperature, eight of the wireless RF Sensors are affixed to bearing brackets. The upper hatch is monitored for open/closed status by two more RF devices, and the remaining three sensors check the status of lower dump gates. A single bi-directional hardwire to the collaborative hub system permits frequent data transmission from this new Lat-Lon unit, a Receiver Logic Unit (RLU).