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Thousands of train accidents happen around the world every year due to collisions into obstacles on the railway, often resulting in numerous casualties. Train services are hampered by safety issues caused by obstacles on the rails or harsh weather conditions such as heavy fog, rain or snow. These impediments cause trains to slow down, and prevent them from reaching their destination on schedule. Most of the current solutions rely solely on optical sensors to detect obstacles, with limited results due to weather conditions and reduced visibility.
A system for the detection of obstacles and hazards on the railway, allowing trains to increase their speed safely, has been revealed by ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
See Far system fuses an advanced AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) all-weather radar and multispectral electro-optical (E/O) sensors, utilizing the advantages of each sensor. The system can identify hazards on and around the rail tracks such as cars, boulders, humans or animals up to 1.0 Km away regardless of the weather. The system also automatically recognizes railway traffic lights and signs in order to alert the train driver well in advance.
According to the company’s announcement, the radar uses FMCW (Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave) technique to detect objects and operates in the automotive-allocated frequency band of 76-81GHz (W-band).
The system is further enhanced with Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms used to improve the performance thereby reducing false alarms. The system is compatible with Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and complies with ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) in order to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew.
Yoav Tourgeman, IAI VP and CEO of ELTA, said, “See Far is designed to increase the speed of the trains while saving human lives and streamline train traffic across the globe. As private cars lose their dominance as efficient means of transportation, mainly in the cities, train companies are required to be proactive in protecting their passengers from multiple hazards. See Far’s advanced system allows train drivers to ensure a safe journey.”