Pantograph and Overhead Line Monitoring System

Pandas-V®

Pinpoint Faults

Real-time AI Analysis

Cloud Connected

Intuitive Geofencing

Pantograph Accelerometer 

PANDAS-V® Accelerometer
PANDAS-V® Wireless Pantograph Monitoring Sytem

Roof-mounted camera gateway

Damage to the overhead line and the pantograph poses a significant challenge within the rail industry, costing the UK rail network alone over £100 million annually, and causing severe service disruption and reputational damage. 

At the forefront of innovation lies PANDAS-V®, our pantograph camera and overhead line monitoring system. By combining advanced IIoT sensor technology and real-time onboard processing using artificial intelligence and machine learning, PANDAS-V® saves critical time in fault identification and allows for prompt remediation. Unlike traditional systems, PANDAS-V® reports potential issues within 1 minute from detection, eliminating post-processing delays. Equipped with GPS tracking and visual reports, our systems allows operations and maintenance engineering teams to efficiently plan and execute remedial actions, reducing delays and mitigating costly repairs. 

 

Overhead Line Monitoring – Event Detection Capabilities

Faulty Dropper Wires

Droppers can fail very often; for instance, the ECML between Cambridge Junction and Stoke Junction reported an average of four dropper failures weekly in 2020. The impact of a single failure can be minor to very significant, often resulting in compounding delays to railway services. PANDAS-V® routinely detects and reports a wide range of faulty dropper wires with differing failure modes, ranging from mild damage to fully detached or broken.

Misaligned Section Isolator

Our pantograph camera technology plays a vital role in the early detection of misaligned neutral sections, significantly contributing to the safety and operational efficiency of rail networks.

“I have spoken with NR and they have confirmed that unbelievably there isn’t anything missing from the section isolator but it it’s very misaligned, and does present a de-wirement risk.” – Angel Trains

Bird Strikes

Pantograph bird strikes are more than just a rare occurrence; they’re a real and frequent challenge that can cause damage ranging from mild to severe. Our pantograph monitoring solution routinely detects bird strikes, promptly informing key stakeholders to evaluate damage and strategically allocate resources.

Pantograph Flip

Our innovative solution addresses the critical issue of pantograph flip, ensuring reliable contact with the overhead catenary system and enhancing the operational integrity of rail networks.

Arcing

Arcing, a significant railway safety concern, can lead to power fluctuations or even electrical failures on trains, potentially risking passenger well-being. By employing real-time monitoring for pantograph arcing, rail operators can swiftly detect and address such issues, ensuring service reliability and passenger safety. Our PANDAS-V® system also provides valuable data for proactive maintenance planning, which ultimately reduces downtime and associated costs.

Wire Stagger

Utilising advanced machine image processing algorithms, our overhead line monitoring system continuously detects wire stagger during routine train operation. The received data is processed, establishing weekly baselines to track trends and identify any changes to the infrastructure.

PANDAS-V® stagger analytics

Pantograph Height

With sophisticated computer vision capabilities, our PANDAS-V® pantograph camera continuously monitors pantograph height during routine train operations. The received data is processed, and weekly baselines are trended to detect variations in the railway infrastructure promptly.

PANDAS-V® height analytics

Foliage

Our advanced remote monitoring system features real-time foliage detection, alerting users to the proximity of foliage within predefined distances, ensuring proactive risk management.

Bird Nests

Our catenary monitoring solution tackles the challenges posed by birds’ nest, ensuring unobstructed operations and prioritising railway safety and efficiency. For example, a nest was reported and removed within the same day by maintenance crews.

“This poses a risk as bird’s nests within 600mm of 25kV live parts can cause a short circuit and part the catenary conductors”. – Network Rail.

Carbon Chips

Carbon chip disruptions pose a persistent challenge for fleets. Our PANDAS-V® system pinpoints locations causing repetitive carbon damage, thereby optimising fleet performance and improving safety.

Ride Quality & Sway

Network Rail has reported that extreme weather conditions across Britain are escalating the risk of landslips, posing a threat to railway infrastructure and safety. Proactive measures are essential to safeguard against these events.


Major landslip near Hook station in Hampshire, January 2023.

Real-time monitoring by PANDAS-V® automatically detects deviations in ride quality through carriage sway variations. It alerts rail operators to critical faults which compromise railway safety and can lead to derailments.

The below example shows the repeatability of measurements over 23 consecutive runs:

Slack Headspan Wire

In this incident, PANDAS-V® swiftly detected and reported a slack headspan wire minutes after the fault occurred. Without immediate remediation, this issues led to a dewirement within two hours of the initial fault detection.

“Unfortunately, we were not able to catch this fault in time and Scottish teams are now dealing with a wire down. The video and info will be invaluable for incident review meetings that will follow.” – Network Rail

Converging Wires

PANDAS-V® detects high impact loads as a result of converging overhead line wires. Converging wires often feature a change in height, leading to mild to severe impacts.

Hard Spots

PANDAS-V® identifies hard spots within the rail catenary system, pinpointing the exact GPS location. For instance, the example below shows a hard spot caused by a registration arm that lacks vertical movement, and creating a large impact every time a pantograph passes.

“These components are a natural ‘hard spot’ and have to set-up very accurately to minimise high forces at 125mph / 200kph. PANDAS V will help us to prioritise neutral section sites & interventions.” – Network Rail

Hard Spots

Cross Contact Wire Detection

PANDAS-V® detected and reported a faulty cross contact wire within minutes of the fault occurring. Key stakeholders responded immediately, and measures were put in place to mitigate further damage.

“This is an unfortunately common, but still very severe, failure mode with our cross contact arrangements. We’ve had a number of multi million pounds incidents arising from this issue. I’ve informed the local DU who were not yet aware. They are now responding. This will likely be a block to electric traction until the bar can be replaced, as well as on site inspection. Early warning on this type of issue is incredibly valuable. Without PANDAS it’s entirely possible our first indication of the issue could have been a dewirement.” – Network Rail

Broken Branch Detection

Following a series of storms in the UK. PANDAS-V® has proven essential for overhead line monitoring, particularly in detecting broken brand impacts. During Storm Isha, PANDAS-V® detected a broken branch impacting the overhead catenary system and sent an automatic report to key stakeholders, enabling swift response measures.

Uplift Force

The detection of uplift force is essential for maintaining smooth and reliable train operations. Our PANDAS-V® camera system helps assess the dynamic interactions between the pantograph and the contact wire, ensuring a constant and uninterrupted power supply. By monitoring the uplift force, operators can prevent pantograph dewirement and potential damage.

Impact Events

Detection of Impact Events

Our advanced sensor technology is instrumental in identifying a range of impact events, including droppers, misaligned neutral sections, and birdstrikes, ensuring swift responses to uphold the safety and efficiency of rail operations.

Faulty Dropper Wires

Droppers can fail very often; for instance, the ECML between Cambridge Junction and Stoke Junction reported an average of four dropper failures weekly in 2020. The impact of a single failure can be minor to very significant, often resulting in compounding delays to railway services. PANDAS-V® routinely detects and reports a wide range of faulty dropper wires with differing failure modes, ranging from mild damage to fully detached or broken.

Our pantograph camera technology plays a vital role in the early detection of misaligned neutral sections, significantly contributing to the safety and operational efficiency of rail networks.

“I have spoken with NR and they have confirmed that unbelievably there isn’t anything missing from the section isolator but it it’s very misaligned, and does present a de-wirement risk.” – Angel Trains

Bird Strikes

Pantograph bird strikes are more than just a rare occurrence; they’re a real and frequent challenge that can cause damage ranging from mild to severe. Our pantograph monitoring solution routinely detects bird strikes, promptly informing key stakeholders to evaluate damage and strategically allocate resources.

Broken Branch Detection

Following a series of storms in the UK. PANDAS-V® has proven essential for overhead line monitoring, particularly in detecting broken brand impacts. During Storm Isha, PANDAS-V® detected a broken branch impacting the overhead catenary system and sent an automatic report to key stakeholders, enabling swift response measures.

Slack Headspan Wire

In this incident, PANDAS-V® swiftly detected and reported a slack headspan wire minutes after the fault occurred. Without immediate remediation, this issues led to a dewirement within two hours of the initial fault detection.

“Unfortunately, we were not able to catch this fault in time and Scottish teams are now dealing with a wire down. The video and info will be invaluable for incident review meetings that will follow.” – Network Rail

Cross Contact Wire Detection

PANDAS-V® detected and reported a faulty cross contact wire within minutes of the fault occurring. Key stakeholders responded immediately, and measures were put in place to mitigate further damage.

“This is an unfortunately common, but still very severe, failure mode with our cross contact arrangements. We’ve had a number of multi million pounds incidents arising from this issue. I’ve informed the local DU who were not yet aware. They are now responding. This will likely be a block to electric traction until the bar can be replaced, as well as on site inspection. Early warning on this type of issue is incredibly valuable. Without PANDAS it’s entirely possible our first indication of the issue could have been a dewirement.” – Network Rail

Converging Wires

PANDAS-V® detects high impact loads as a result of converging overhead line wires. Converging wires often feature a change in height, leading to mild to severe impacts.

Hard Spots

PANDAS-V® identifies hard spots within the rail catenary system, pinpointing the exact GPS location. For instance, the example below shows a hard spot caused by a registration arm that lacks vertical movement, and creating a large impact every time a pantograph passes.

“These components are a natural ‘hard spot’ and have to set-up very accurately to minimise high forces at 125mph / 200kph. PANDAS V will help us to prioritise neutral section sites & interventions.” – Network Rail

Hard Spots

Advanced Detection

Pantograph Flip

Our innovative solution addresses the critical issue of pantograph flip, ensuring reliable contact with the overhead catenary system and enhancing the operational integrity of rail networks.

FoliageOur advanced remote monitoring system features real-time foliage detection, alerting users to the proximity of foliage within predefined distances, ensuring proactive risk management.

Our catenary monitoring solution tackles the challenges posed by birds’ nest, ensuring unobstructed operations and prioritising railway safety and efficiency. For example, a nest was reported and removed within the same day by maintenance crews.

“This poses a risk as bird’s nests within 600mm of 25kV live parts can cause a short circuit and part the catenary conductors”. – Network Rail.

Arcing

Arcing, a significant railway safety concern, can lead to power fluctuations or even electrical failures on trains, potentially risking passenger well-being. By employing real-time monitoring for pantograph arcing, rail operators can swiftly detect and address such issues, ensuring service reliability and passenger safety. Our PANDAS-V® system also provides valuable data for proactive maintenance planning, which ultimately reduces downtime and associated costs.

Wire Stagger

Utilising advanced machine image processing algorithms, our overhead line monitoring system continuously detects wire stagger during routine train operation. The received data is processed, establishing weekly baselines to track trends and identify any changes to the infrastructure.

PANDAS-V® stagger analytics

Pantograph Height

With sophisticated computer vision capabilities, our PANDAS-V® pantograph camera continuously monitors pantograph height during routine train operations. The received data is processed, and weekly baselines are trended to detect variations in the railway infrastructure promptly.

PANDAS-V® height analytics

Carbon Chips

Carbon chip disruptions pose a persistent challenge for fleets. Our PANDAS-V® system pinpoints locations causing repetitive carbon damage, thereby optimising fleet performance and improving safety.

Ride Quality & Sway

Network Rail has reported that extreme weather conditions across Britain are escalating the risk of landslips, posing a threat to railway infrastructure and safety. Proactive measures are essential to safeguard against these events.


Major landslip near Hook station in Hampshire, January 2023.

Real-time monitoring by PANDAS-V® automatically detects deviations in ride quality through carriage sway variations. It alerts rail operators to critical faults which compromise railway safety and can lead to derailments.

The below example shows the repeatability of measurements over 23 consecutive runs:

Uplift Force

The detection of uplift force is essential for maintaining smooth and reliable train operations. Our PANDAS-V® camera system helps assess the dynamic interactions between the pantograph and the contact wire, ensuring a constant and uninterrupted power supply. By monitoring the uplift force, operators can prevent pantograph dewirement and potential damage.

The icon represents exclusive Transmission Dynamics Artifical Intelligence (AI) technology.

PANDAS-V® Technical Specifications

Download the PANDAS-V® datasheet for further technical information on our advanced pantograph camera and wireless accelerometer system for precise catenary monitoring

Any questions?  Fill out our simple form and our team will respond within one business day.

    PANDAS-V® Pantograph Camera and Wireless Accelerometer Features

    Explore the comprehensive features of our award-winning pantograph and overhead line monitoring system by clicking on the image below.

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    How AI computer vision is transforming railway operations

    Our advanced self-learning algorithms rationalise data from our IoT solutions, providing railway stakeholders with real-time, business critical intelligence and alerts. This plays a crucial role in determining the severity of incidents, distinguishing between new and recurring issues, and determining the rate at which a recurring problem is escalating.

    Camera captures images in realtime at 60FPS using state of the art camera systems.

    Our high-definition pantograph camera captures videos in real-time at 60 FPS.

    Our onboard camera system analyses each frame in real-time using Edge AI processing.

    Analysis of each frame in realtime, on camera system using Edge processing.
    Data is sent to the GDN® and plotted.​

    Data is sent to the GDN® and plotted.

    Detection events and deviations from the baseline are reported to key stakeholders.

    Detection of events and deviations from baseline, reporting to key stakeholders.

    Our pantograph monitoring system is designed for simple and practical installation

    EFFORTLESS Installation

    No complex units or brackets to install.

    Minimal Engineering Change

    Reduces lengthly authority and change control procedures.

    PANDAS-V® Wireless Accelerometer
    PANDAS-V® Wireless Overhead Line Monitoring Camera System Installation

    Our PANDAS-V® system is ADD (Auto Drop Device) Ready.

    Single power supply

    Only requires one 24V power supply.

    Simple Maintenance

    No bulky and complex processing units requiring installation and maintenance.

    Benefits of using PANDAS-V®

    PANDAS-V® Pantograph Monitoring System Assembly
    PANDAS-V® Overhead Line Monitoring system flight case

    Maximised Operational Efficiencies

    Through preventative rather than reactive maintenance, enabling operations and maintenance engineering teams to plan, mobilise, and undertake maintenance when issues occur.

    Enhanced Safety

    PANDAS-V® provides visibility of the entire network during live passenger service. Using these insights to prevent incidents associated with pantograph and overhead line defects exponentially increases the safety of the network, its passengers, and its workers.

    Reduced Delays

    Infrastructure faults and unplanned maintenance cause significant delays to the rail network, with dropper wires alone causing more than 10,000 minutes of delays in one region of the UK network. PANDAS-V® detects and automatically reports faults within one minute of occurrence, providing a vast impact on service reliability.

    Reduced Costs

    PANDAS-V® not only enhances safety and reliability but also offers a cost-effective solution for rail operators by reducing downtime, preventing costly repairs, and streamlining maintenance processes.

    BETTER REPORTING

    Automated reports and alerts, performance trends and management via an intuitive portal. This not only streamlines maintenance operations, but also enables strategic planning for long-term asset and infrastructure management.

    BOOTS OFF BALLAST

    With real-time AI analysis and remote monitoring, PANDAS-V® reduces boots on ballast, meaning maintenance personnel can respond proactively to issues without extensive on-site inspections, thereby minimising operational disruptions.

    Engineering Excellence for rail-specific environments

    PANDAS-V® is a product.

    PANDAS-V® is engineered to operate in some of the most arduous outdoor environments, from heavy rain and high winds to extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C to +85°C and deliver reliable performance during both day and night. The system is now in successful operation across a wide spectrum of climates, ranging form scorching Indian summers to freezing Canadian winters.

    Our patented dual-arm wiper-scraper mechanism with automatic rain detection ensures consistent and reliable visibility, even in adverse weather conditions. This mechanism eliminates the need for frequent cleaning of the lens, a common issue caused by carbon deposits that can impair visual clarity after just a few days of operation.

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    Extreme Cold Running

    Verified operations in Canadian winters.

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    In-House Manufacturing

    Products designs, manufactured and assembled in-house.

    Frozen PANDAS-V

    Environmental Stress Testing

    In-house testing of all environmental variables.

    PANDAS-V® Pantograph Monitoring System Assembly

    Aerospace-Grade Materials

    Proven components for longevity and quality.

    Part of the Transmission Dynamics Ecosystem

    PANDAS-V®

    This advanced system revolutionises rail industry practices by offering affordable and scalable remote condition monitoring solutions for electrified train pantographs and overhead lines. By addressing maintenance challenges and enhancing efficiency, PANDAS-V® transforms rail operations and sets new standards for monitoring and maintenance in the industry.

    Smart Oil Plug®

    The Smart Oil Plug® is an innovative technology designed for the railroad industry, providing real-time monitoring of final drives and transmissions via wireless data transmission, detecting various parameters like temperature, vibrations, oil debris, and more, while offering extended maintenance intervals and global data access.

    PANDAS-3R®

    PANDAS-3R® offers patented ultra-miniature wireless accelerometer technology for real-time data on train shoe gear impacts, boosting maintenance efficiency, ensuring safety, and embracing the future of rail maintenance.

    SmartBug®

    SmartBug® is a compact wireless telemetry system, measuring strain, vibration, roll, and temperature with a long-lasting built-in battery, suitable for various applications such as rail, highways, offshore, and more, transmitting data via Bluetooth to a Gateway for analysis through the Global Data Network (GDN®) portal.

    LMF+®​

    Load Monitoring Fastener+® provides real-time tension data during installation and in-service operations, optimising torque compensation. Suitable for a range of applications such as rail & transportation, wind & power generation, mining, and more. Reduce downtime and maintenance costs, minimise failures, and increase efficiency with LMF+®.

    Want to know more about the PANDAS-V® experience?

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