Indian Railways, Now Tracked by Satellites

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 28 December 2011, 13:03 Hrs
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Indian Railways, Now Tracked by Satellites
Bangalore: The Railways are soon shifting to a satellite-based tracking system to get the exact time information regarding the movement of train. The pilot project implemented on Chennai section is soon to be completed. It will be in production from next year.

P Bala Bhaskar Rao, VP (Operations) of Hyderabad-based Avantel Limited, "We will commence installation of the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) system from the next week covering 107 locomotives that run on the Chennai section. The installation of the technology will be completed by February of next year,"as quoted by Business Standard.

India's first certified indigenous MSS system for defense and aerospace applications has been developed by Avantel and the first 12 unit of system including four spare systems is to be delivered to Boeing Company under a contract worth about $ 2.2 million. Supplied by the American aircraft company to Indian defense forces, these MSS systems would be fitted on 8 P-8I Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft.

The Boeing Aerospace in compliance with Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA) standards produced the MSS system for the P-8I. According to the company, it has been qualified by the Center for Military Airworthiness & Certification (Cemilac).

Rao said that the system involving the technology is same for the aircraft and Indian Railways. The MSS-based tracking system is planned to be implemented in the Railways across the country once its pilots demonstrate its efficiency.

The first phase of the Real Train Information System, based on the satellite imaging for rail navigation has been opened by the Railway. It has been mutually developed by the Research Design and Standards Organization and IIT-Kanpur. Despite the fact that the locomotives are fitted with GPS equipment, the system runs on Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication technology that is used in mobile phones.

After the implementation of new system the movement and location of each train will be tracked on a realtime basis. Rao said, "Once the system is in place several value-added services like providing passengers with accurate information on train arrival time among others will be developed around it,"
Avantel has also come up with ultra high frequency (UHF) communication systems and products, and it will be delivered to Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) under a contract for 25-crore in the next six months.

The Indian army extensively uses the MSS system mainly on the Navy warships and Cost Guard vessels. The MSS system for defence applications are developed from various platforms like submarines, torpedoes, ground-based vehicles, ships, and aircraft.

Founded in 1995, Aventel had started developing Type-C terminals for one-way messaging following a technology transfer agreement with Isro in 2000. A turnover of Rs 24.5 crore was recorded for the BSE-listed company in 2001 and revenue of 26 crore is expected for the present year. Its share closed up at 58.25 whereas its 52-month price stood at 69.5 and 41 respectively.

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