Piper Networks Receives SIL-4 Safety Certification for Ultra Wideband Train Control System

Piper Networks Receives SIL-4 Safety Certification for
Ultra Wideband Train Control System

The company, a leading developer of transportation location systems, announces the world’s first CENELEC SIL-4 UWB navigation system – highlighting an industry breakthrough in signaling and safety technology.

New York, NY (August 31, 2021) – Piper Networks, an industry leading transportation engineering solutions provider and systems integrator, 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 this safety rating.

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. Most recently, Piper’s UWB positioning system has been piloted on the New York Metropolitan Transportation Agency’s (MTA) 7-Line subway in Flushing, New York, providing position data for the Thales Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) system.

UWB is a radio frequency technology that surrounds the tracks with coverage and pinpoints the location of trains in real-time within a few centimeters. Using a time-of-flight measurement of radio transmissions, Piper determines the precise location of moving trains and calculates their speed in a manner consistent with the CENELEC standard. System safety is the paramount concern for train control requirements and Piper’s UWB system provides end-to-end verification and validation of all system components and processes. Now that it is SIL-4 certified, the Piper system can be more seamlessly integrated with higher level systems to ensure that they are operating with the highest levels of confidence.

Piper’s UWB system is SIL-4 CENELEC certified to the following standards:

Functional Safety Certification

EN 50126 – The Specification and Demonstration of Reliability, Availability, Maintainability & Safety (RAMS)
EN 50128 – Software for railway control and protection systems
EN 50129 – Hardware for railway control and protection systems
EN 50159 – Safety Related Electronic System for Signaling

EMI / EMC Certification

EN 50121-1 – Electromagnetic compatibility
EN 50121-3 – Rolling Stock – Train and Complete Vehicle
EN 50121-4 – Emission and Immunity of the Signaling and Telecommunications 

Environmental Certification

EN 50155 – Electronic Equipment Used on Rolling Stock
IEC 60068-2 – Environmental Testing of Electronic Equipment

Piper has demonstrated how its UWB technology provides a vast array of technological and cost-saving advantages over traditional or legacy positioning systems. In addition to providing location services for Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) systems being deployed on large urban rail systems, Piper’s technology supports Automatic Train Protection (ATP) systems at varying levels of complexity. Based on the transportation agency’s requirements, Piper’s UWB system can deliver critical functionality for vehicle limits compliance, collision avoidance, civil speed enforcement, and red signal overrun protection, to name a few. Additionally, Piper has demonstrated how its proprietary UWB product’s small footprint can be further leveraged to provide these agencies with protection systems for maintenance-of-way vehicles and their workers.

Robert Hanczor, CEO of Piper Networks, said, “Piper’s SIL-4 achievement is the latest step in our five-year program to develop a safety certified UWB system that propels the industry forward in the development of advanced train control systems. This accomplishment was made possible by the ingenuity of our engineering teams and the encouragement of our customers and partners who have long recognized the need for new and reliable technologies to help modernize our aging transportation infrastructure.”

Piper began the safety certification process in early 2019 when they engaged with Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) TÜV SÜD to validate the development of Piper’s technology with the focus on mitigating potential hazards. During the recent industry-wide slowdown, the company continued to invest in the process and remained focused on the task of achieving the SIL-4 standard.

The company is now prepared to work more efficiently with its industry partners to hone the interface controls and protocols based on the higher level functional requirements for various signaling programs. 

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