What is RTIS, the real-time monitoring system for trains and how does it work?

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The Indian Railways is set to install a real-time information system (RTIS) in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for automatic tracking of train movement timing at the railway stations. The railways ministry in a statement said that the train control will be able to track the location and the speed of RTIS-enabled train more closely without any manual intervention.

What is real-time monitoring?

In information technology terminology, real-time monitoring is actually a technique which helps in determining the current state of queues and channels within a queue manager, the IBM website states. The information received is accurate at the moment the command was issued.

Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), an organisation under the ministry of railways, delves deeper on this real-time monitoring system developed with ISRO. The organisation says ‘automatic acquisition of train movement data on Indian Railways has always been a key requirement & the greatest challenge for accurate train speed and position reporting.’.

How does RTIS work?

On its website, the Centre for Railway Information System explains how this RTIS system works.

  1. The locomotive device comprising GPS Aided Geo-Augmented Navigation System (GAGAN) captures the loco/train position. The satellite (SatCom) communication transceiver, 4G-3G complements this SatCom and the 2.4 GHz along with appropriate CPU, memory, embedded operating system and application system. The external antennae for all the modules is housed in the outdoor unit mounted on loco rooftop.

2. According to the website, the satellite transponder and the hub has been installed at the CRIS datacentre to receive moment updates through the satellite communication.

3. The events along with the position and locations are communicated to a central location server using satellite and 3G/4G mobile data service.

4. The Central Location Server (CLS) at the CRIS centre processes the received data and then relays it to the control office application for the automatic plotting of control charts. The COA is already integrated with the national train enquiry system, and accurate real-time information for passengers is obtained automatically.

5. According to CRIS, the application software in the locomotive device determines the train movement events like arrival, departure, run-through at stations using a pre-defined logic.

6. The CRIS data centre receives train speed information continuously every 30 seconds from GAGAN receiver. The configuration management system (LMCS) is utilised to monitor the health of loco device, managing its configuration & updating the software/firmware in the loco device. The emergency messaging between Loco driver and control office is also implemented through RTIS.




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