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General Info

Piper has 3 proprietary solutions for train navigation and positioning.

Each solution is designed to operate in some of the most challenging transportation environments while maintaining pinpoint accuracy that improves performance for train operators and train control suppliers.

We believe that the use of UWB, LiDAR and other advanced industrial technologies in train control systems is an important evolutionary leap forward for signalling and track worker safety. We are pursuing and delivering ways to reduce the amount of equipment needed to be installed wayside, or in Piper TrackSight’s case, eliminating it altogether and having only train-centric equipment. This results in positioning systems that can be deployed faster, at lower cost, and with minimal disruption to your riders.

Train Navigation Solutions

Piper Rail Positioning System (RPS) with Ultra Wideband (UWB)

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Piper’s Rail Positioning System (RPS) uses Ultra Wideband (UWB) Technology to track the location and movement of trains, vehicles, equipment, people and other objects in real-time for various location awareness needs

RPS determines the location of trains throughout a system in real-time with unmatched positional certainty. The system is like a blanket of radio coverage over the subway lines – virtually surrounding the tracks with smart sensors that pinpoint train location down to a few inches.

The system has a variety of features that make it a safe, reliable, and cost effective replacement for traditional signaling equipment including roadbed transponders, undercarriage antennas, and wheel odometry. In this configuration, it is ready for integration with Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) deployments. And for operators that do not require the comprehensiveness of a CBTC system, RPS delivers critical functionality for Automatic Train Protection (ATP) requirements to support signaling.

Piper UWB Anchor for wayside
Piper Onboard Tag
Piper Onboard Tag Controller

Piper UWB Anchor for wayside

Piper Onboard Tag

Piper Onboard Tag Controller

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World’s first SIL-4 Safety Certification for Ultra Wideband Train Control System

Piper Networks has received a CENELEC Safety Integrity Level 4 (SIL-4) Certification for its Ultra Wideband (UWB) train control system from independent safety assessor, TÜV SÜD. The certification is a milestone achievement for Piper and the transportation industry as it becomes the first ever UWB-based position and speed technology to achieve vitality. The system is now ready for integration with signaling and train control programs being implemented by transportation agencies and their engineering contractors in the US and worldwide.

Click below to learn more about the Piper UWB RPS components.

Piper Tag

The tag is mounted inside the hood of the train and communicates with the wayside anchors many times each second to determine accurate distances within a few inches.

Piper Tag

The tag is mounted inside the hood of the train and communicates with the wayside anchors many times each second to determine accurate distances within a few inches.

Piper Tag Controller

The onboard computers use the positioning data to calculate the location of the train along the track and feed that information into the train control system.

Piper Tag Controller

The onboard computers use the positioning data to calculate the location of the train along the track and feed that information into the train control system.

Piper Wayside UWB Anchors

These radios are small and easy to install - helping put trains back into service faster with less downtime.

Piper Wayside UWB Anchors

These radios are small and easy to install - helping put trains back into service faster with less downtime.

Piper TrackSight™ LiDAR

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Piper TrackSight™ LiDAR is our latest technological advancement that employs patent-pending positional imaging to determine the location of trains within complex transit systems.

TrackSight™ is the next evolutionary step that moves subway operations from the track bed to the train. It’s a fully deterministic solution that compares real-time imaging to an onboard database. Unlike AI or machine learning technologies, the design is safety certifiable to a Safety Integrity Level 4 (SIL-4) standard and the data structure is compatible with the positioning data provided by Piper’s UWB systems, meaning there would be no software changes required of the CBTC Suppliers to migrate from UWB to TrackSight™.

It can be installed alongside UWB and provide consistent and redundant positioning data to an onboard CBTC system. And because it requires no track or wayside components, installation and maintenance costs are dramatically reduced.

Piper TrackSight LiDAR
Piper TrackSight LiDAR

Piper TrackSight is a highly accurate LiDAR technology made specifically for rail.

Piper’s GPS RTK

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Piper’s GPS RTK technology is used to position MOW vehicles in the territory with centimeter-level accuracy.

This accuracy is critical for determining the track the vehicle is operating on and calculating the distance to the ends of the work zone. To accomplish this, Piper deploys redundant, broad coverage GPS-RTK base stations along the right of way.

Piper recently deployed a comprehensive database of the entire Northeast Corridor track geometry and required only 32 base stations. In addition to determining precise track and location, this network provides fine resolution for the proximity of vehicles to various points of interest, including: interlockings, platforms, grade crossings and signals.

GPS base station
GPS base station

See Piper's distribution of GPS base stations along the NEC.

Train Positioning Explanation

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Piper | Ultra Wideband Train Positioning Explanation
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Testimonials

Proven in the field

Ultra Wideband wireless technology brings the promise of fewer and shorter delays, and faster and cheaper installation of modern CBTC signaling, by eliminating much of the equipment traditionally fitted under trains and on tracks. This is a game-changer for our customers.

Pete Tomlin Former MTA Signaling Chief

The reason Piper was able to become safety certified is because we use proven Ultra Wideband technology as the way of positioning trains consistently and in real-time. Piper has undergone years of testing and successfully passed thorough audits by safety assessor TUV SUD, to become the world’s first and only CENELEC SIL-4 Safety Certified UWB positioning system for rail and transit.

Robert Hanczor CEO Piper Networks

I’m hugely encouraged by that (Piper Networks) demo… I think we’re on a winner here. This means that the already aggressive time frame of Fast Forward CBTC roll out can be expedited even more quickly and we can go from being this capable but very traditional subway to state-of-the-art.

Andy Byford Former President of NYCT

Benefits

Benefits that make a difference

High Precision

Reliable System provides accurate navigation for rail vehicles.

SIL 4 Safety Certified Equipment

tested against AREMA C&S 11.5.1 and IEEE 1478

Suite of sensor technologies

includes UWB, LiDAR, IMU and optional GPS.

Advanced protection

For MOW equipment and track workers.

Track Non-Revenue Trains

And other MOW Equipment for better protection.

Interoperable

Customize to requirements or adapt to legacy systems.

certification

SIL4 Safety Certified

A fundamental requirement of any signaling system is safety certification to a CENELEC SIL-4 level. In CBTC, this vitality is achieved, in part, by meeting the Automatic Train Protection (ATP) functionality required for safe train operation as defined by the IEEE 1474.1 Standards for Communications-Based Train Control Performance and Functional Requirements.
SIL4 Safety Certified
A fundamental requirement of any signaling system is safety certification to a CENELEC SIL-4 level. In CBTC, this vitality is achieved, in part, by meeting the Automatic Train Protection (ATP) functionality required for safe train operation as defined by the IEEE 1474.1 Standards for Communications-Based Train Control Performance and Functional Requirements.

Piper’s news

Other Solutions

Reliably Innovative Transit Solutions

Piper has an existing suite of real-time location systems (RTLS) solutions that utilize various technologies, including: UWB, BLE, GPS-RTK, LTE, RFID, HD Cameras and LiDAR.

Maintenance of Way Safety

Maintenance of Way Safety

Piper’s multi-sensor MOW safety solution provides limits compliance, collision avoidance and detection, and greatly improves track worker safety.

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ATP-Overlay

ATP-Overlay

Automatic Train Protection for localization, safe separation, rollback protection, end-of-train, and more.

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Grade Crossing Safety

Grade Crossing Safety

Monitor grade crossings remotely to detect occupancy and alert rail system operators to potential hazards.

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Our single platform is not only designed to communicate seamlessly with your existing systems, but they can also be interoperable with your legacy equipment. Use Piper’s proven solutions to improve efficiencies and safety, or contact us to develop something specific to your requirements.

Station Safety & PIDS

Station Safety & PIDS

Calculate train arrival/departure times to improve rider experience, and keep them safe on the platforms with special track intrusion cameras.

Learn more