CATENARY geometry and contact wire wear can be measured at high speed using OptoCat, developed by Italian firm Selectra in co-operation with FS. A light source and camera unit can be attached to almost any rail vehicle. A beam of light is reflected from the lower surface of the contact wire into the camera, which is able to observe up to 12 wires simultaneously. The beam is then used to calculate the wire parameters.

The software package allows details of a measuring run to be stored, analysed and presented graphically. A point-and-click user interface provides access to numerical data for any point on the plotted results, and can be used to access video camera images stored on DVD. Distances along a measuring run can be entered directly to retrieve measurement data for a particular location.

OptoCat Panto is installed directly on the pantograph, and can also be used to obtain dynamic measurement of supply voltage and contact forces at up to 150 km/h. OptoCat Easy is a portable version which is particularly suitable for use on track maintenance vehicles. The self-contained OptoCat Top is designed to be installed on the roof of passenger trains in regular service, and can collect data at up to 360 km/h.

Selectra, Italy

Reader Enquiry Number 137

TABLE: OptoCat measuring performance

Measurement Range Accuracy Resolution mm mm mm

Wire height 4500 to 6000