Webinar: High-voltage Pantograph Overhead-line Monitoring Webinar: High-voltage Pantograph Overhead-line Monitoring | HBM

Webinar: High-voltage Pantograph Overhead-line Monitoring Using a Fiber-based Measurement Chain

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Continuous monitoring of contact forces and acceleration between pantograph and catenary in regularly operated railway vehicles is fundamental for a modern predictive maintenance approach. For a safe and accurate measurement on high voltage levels, we recommend a purely optical measurement chain. Acquiring optical sensor information in parallel to vehicle bus signals and position sensing (GNSS) allows you to build a graphical map of your infrastructure and its need for maintenance.

This webinar will discuss the complete setup of the solution including:

  • Best approach for system design
  • Used components
  • Advantages of modern optical interrogators


Dietmar Maicz

Railway Monitoring Specialist


[email protected]


This webinar was held on

 Tuesday, May 12, 2020       
 10:00 AM CET       English

Questions from Webinar Participants Answered by Dietmar Maicz

Force transducer – FS66HDL (Heavy Duty Fibre Optical)

Accelerometer – FS65HDA (Heavy Duty Fibre Optical)

There are two approaches:

  1. Additional measurement sensors for determining the aerodynamic force/lift (and the vertical displacement) can be connected to the QuantumX module (ground potential). Due to the product family approach (it is hybrid), fully synchronized systems are no problem.
  2. An additional optical force sensor can be used to measure the aerodynamic force instead of one of the accelerometers, also at high voltages.

The optical interrogators from HBK (DAQ) needs to be connected to a PC for configuring and data saving. There are models, however, that can be then disconnected from the PC and operate as standalone and record data internally (FS22 Static).

Check for further details on our product page FS22 Industrial BraggMETER.

If you use the MXFS fibre optical Interrogator and IEEE1588:2008 (PTPv2), it is typically bellow 100ns.

All the sensors are available for sale and offered on a project basis, because of typically additional clarifications are needed for integration.

There is no protection for the sensors because of the fibre optical principle they are not influencing the measurement result.

Frequency of sensor calibration is necessary depends on the application and quality assessment requirements. In principle, it can be handled like all other force sensors.

The optical eight optical channels are recorded with 1kHz and stored in an 8 byte resolution.

Accurate and reliable data are the basis for these kinds of systems. The integration in the maintenance regime with a rapid response to trends and events is also very important. Starting with the biggest faults in the network, a relatively fast and higher general quality level can be reached.

We have observed, that the most robust approach to determine faults are the force values.

A camera was not installed because of the issue of the lens soiling. But for other applications, using the QuantumX/catman product family, we do use cameras. Recording of compressed video streams from Ethernet cameras as well as Windows® DirectShow cameras are supported.

The products are available for sale on a project basis. Additional to the sensor’s connectors, connector boxes, etc. are also needed and differ depending on the integration possibilities. Please send us your project requirements.

This was not tested and needs additional consideration. If the force difference is big enough it should be possible in principle.