Health management system for the pantographs of tilting trains

Giovanni Jacazio, Massimo Sorli, Danilo Bolognese, and Davide Ferrara
Submission Type: 
Full Paper
phmce_12_002.pdf482.89 KBJune 6, 2012 - 10:43am

Tilting trains are provided with the ability of rotating their carbodies of several degrees with respect to the bogies about the longitudinal axis of the train. When the carbody is tilted with respect to the bogie, the train pantograph needs to remain centered with respect to the overhead catenary, which is aligned with the track. The conventional solution is to mechanically link the pantograph to the bogie, but recent tilting trains have the pantograph connected to the carbody roof while a position servoloop continuously control the pantograph position such to keep it centered with the catenary. The merit of this design is to allow a gain of the useful volume inside the carbody. The pantograph position servoloop uses two position sensors providing a redundant position information to close the pantograph feedback loop and perform system monitoring.
The monitoring functions presently implemented in pantograph position controls are able to detect the servocontrol failures, but in case of conflicting information from the two position transducers they are not always able to sort out which of the two transducer is failed because some failures of the position transducers cannot be detected by simply looking at the output signals of the transducer. As a result, if a difference between the output signals of the two position transducers is detected, the tilting function is disabled and the train speed is reduced. Also, the entire pantograph is then removed and replaced because the functionality of each individual transducer can only be checked at shop level.
An advanced diagnostic system was hence developed that can both identify the presence of a failure and recognize which of the two position transducers is the failed one. In case of a transducer failure is thus possible to isolate the failed transducer and keep the pantograph position control operational, thereby retaining the train tilting function.
The general architecture of this innovative diagnostic system, the associated algorithms, the mathematical models for the system simulation and validation, the simulation results are presented in the paper.

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Submission Keywords: 
PHM sensors and detection methodologies
health monitoring
tilting trains
mathematical models
Submission Topic Areas: 
Model-based methods for fault detection, diagnostics, and prognosis
Modeling and simulation
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