For future “Smart Car” capabilities and many of the monitoring capabilities desired for condition-based maintenance, it is important to be able to incorporate wireless technologies across the entirety of the railway infrastructure. Such a design would allow monitoring of car and locomotive technologies, incorporate the capabilities of “smart AEI” tags, with identification and cargo updating, automate the assembly and tracking of consists, and provide many other services. To date, no workable designs have been created which provide all of these capabilities and offer compatibility with existing and emerging standards.

IEM’s new WISENet™ technology fills this gap. WISENet™ provides car-level discrimination of units, with each individual car able to control and run its own local network of car-level sensors, and a central “car node” providing inter-car and system-level communication with gateways to main data processing systems – gateways which may be trackside, on board a locomotive, or in a railyard – as appropriate and needed. WISENet™ is a highly flexible and powerful monitoring and tracking system for all forms of data needed for modern railroad operation.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Sensor Nodes spend more time collecting data and less time managing complex network communications
  • Sensor Nodes operate at lower power because their need to communicate longer distances is reduced
  • Sensor Nodes belong to a specific car and communicate to their Car Node via a car-level mesh topology (i.e., Sensor Nodes only need to route data to their Car Node) to assure connectivity
  • Car Nodes collect and manage sensor data only from their own car
  • A Car Node may serve advanced AEI tag functions
  • Car Nodes implement the mesh topology for WISENet™ maintaining a dynamic routing map to a Gateway that always identifies the most direct and fastest pathway
  • Understanding the “car” as an entity simplifies the process of building and initiating a train network, for determining car order, for calculating train length, for communicating with ‘lone cars’, and other desired network functions
  • Eliminating Sensor Node level mesh network overhead significantly increases data throughput and network speed