Our partner laboratory, the Railway Test Agency (AEF), is offering a new remote measuring service using a ‘black box’ type recorder.

This is a service offered by our laboratory for carrying out surveillance and investigations primarily in the field of current collection, as well as numerous other areas of activity.

Black Box: the Best Data-collection Spy Device

The AEF can install a black box on the train to record all video data generated by on-board cameras, such as those positioned close to the pantographs to monitor current collection. While the videos are being recorded, the system can also be used to acquire a broad spectrum of measurements:

  • Current collected and related frequency analysis (downgraded collection)
  • Voltage
  • Acceleration of different train components
  • Pressure

These measurements can also be used to trigger a video recording and can be configured in accordance with the specific need and data sought.

The information recorded is extremely useful for understanding a problem on board or outside the train. This device delivers remote control video recordings, GPS tracking and remote data transmission for the entire train, avoiding the need for site visits.

But how is the black box useful?

  • For locating an OCL defect on the network
  • For checking a modification to rolling stock
  • For checking OCL defect detection systems
  • For all other problems encountered that require an investigation on the line without disrupting revenue service, etc

Black box systems help to identify and contain phenomena that are a cause for concern, the triggering event and recurrence of which are unknown. By installing a continuous black box surveillance system, employee travel and callouts are minimised, and the costs incurred are significantly reduced.