Heavy stress by vibrations and shock during automatic ballasting or tamping as well as the wide temperature range during day and night operation call for extremely rugged electronic equipment in track-laying and track maintenance machinery.
In this application a computer-aided tamping system based on 3U CompactPCI® is used for the calculation and visualization of the track geometry as well as subsequent control of the track-laying process itself. Deviations of the track geometry are allowed only within a few millimeters in all three dimensions. The same system can be used to control the track geometry during the following periodic maintenance drives. While the calculation and control is done in real-time based on a PowerPC® single-board computer under embedded Linux, the graphical user interface is based on a separate Pentium® CPU card under Windows®.
A second measuring system can be used optionally on the same track-laying vehicles. It consists of several computer nodes that communicate over industrial Ethernet. The 3U VMEbus system is based on a PowerPC® single-board computer that calculates the absolute track error from a multitude of data. It controls the track tamping machine through a combination of digital and analog I/O M-Modules™ which are all optically isolated.