SNCF – Smart monitoring of the rolling stock – infrastructure interface


The pantograph at the interface between the rolling stock and the infrastructure is an articulated device that allows the train to capture the current by friction on a catenary. If the pantographs and the catenary deteriorate mutually in cascade, the latter could be caused to be torn off by the passage of a pantograph. The consequence: traffic outage.

It is therefore crucial to know in real time the events that may impact the pantograph and their location but also to know repeated events in the same place. They are an indicator of defect of the infrastructure and not the pantograph itself. The stakes are simple: reduce service outages due to the breaking of a pantograph or a catenary, maintain the safety of the operations and anticipate maintenance by intervening at the right time and in the right place on the infrastructure when it’s needed.

Smart monitoring of the rolling stock - infrastructure interface
Engineer, Pantograph & Capture studies, SNCF Rolling stock division

The pantograph is on the roof in a sensitive electrical environment and monitoring must be done while the train is running. Far from any access to power and accessible only during the maintenance phases of the train, …

…in addition to being non-intrusive, the measurement and Edge computing solution must be autonomous in energy. They are many challenges!

SEQUANTA has been able to offer us the solution that fits all our requirements, overcoming one by one all the barriers to the implementation of a pantograph monitoring system to both build a new knowledge of the operating conditions and gain in responsiveness through real-time detection and location of extraordinary events.


Wireless solution for smart monitoring

SEQUANTA provides a wireless Edge Computing solution, based on the SEQUANTA Signal One Appliance. It is easy to install at the target measurement points and autonomous over the operating period to ensure continuous monitoring on all routes between 2 maintenance phases. Installation on a reduced fleet of trains is sufficient to scan all the lines to be monitored.
This computing power deported on the field enables to combine the reactivity offered by the short loop with the interest of the analysis of the consolidated data, a posteriori. It also manages data transmission according to their criticality to optimize the solution battery lifecycle.

The solution includes:

  • Wireless sensors with a triaxial accelerometer, installed on the pantograph,
  • Edge Computing gateway based on SEQUANTA Signal One, with GPS capabilities, powered by an integrated Li-ion battery and solar panel, installed on the roof,
  • SEQUANTA Core Software Platform, provided in SaaS mode, 24/7.

Computing at the Edge with no equivalent: +10000 events captured and analyzed (sample over a period of 8 months)!


Discover SNCF success

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