Trimble announced that it has been chosen as the primary GPS timing supplier for Cattron-Theimeg, Inc.’s ACCUSPEED locomotive radio remote control system. The patent-pending system allows yard operators to control the direction, speed and auxiliary functions of switching locomotives in rail and industrial yards. Trimble’s GPS timing adds features that enable the system to utilize scarce and expensive radio spectrum more efficiently, while also increasing the safety and productivity of remote control locomotives in yard operations. Trimble’s Acutime 2000 GPS smart antenna is strategically attached to each locomotive in the ACCUSPEED system and used for timing, positioning and safety features. ACCUSPEED works with computer-equipped switching locomotives and is a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) solution, which enables real-time remote control of equipment. Using GPS as a timing source, up to 10 ACCUSPEED systems can be operated simultaneously in a rail yard using a single radio frequency doubling the previous maximum of five systems. GPS allows Cattron-Theimeg engineers to increase spectrum utilization to nearly 100 percent.
Cattron-Theimeg also uses GPS for positioning to define ‘geozones’ in each yard. ACCUSPEED operators can then program locomotives to perform a variety of auxiliary functions in specific geozones. Locomotive auxiliary functions include automatically turning headlights on or off, ringing the bell, or slowing down and stopping within predetermined locations. Trimble GPS also enhances locomotive safety by providing a precise backup for traditional motion, speed and position input information. While axle generators on the locomotives already supply motion and speed information, situations such as wet track and broken wires can cause axle generators to provide erroneous information. GPS is used to provide a safety check to ensure the ACCUSPEED system has correct information on each locomotive.