Westermo switches provide reliable Power-over-Ethernet networks for on-board railway applications

EN 50155 approved managed Power-over-Ethernet switches provide highly reliable communications networks

To meet the growing demand for communication networks on-board railway rolling stock, Westermo has introduced two compact and rugged Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switches that support video, LCDs and wireless LAN access points. The new devices further enhance Westermo’s innovative IP Train concept, which delivers a complete Ethernet switch and routing solution to provide a robust network infrastructure for the creation of intelligent trains.

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The Viper-112-P8 and Viper-212-P8 twelve-port (8 PoE and 4 standard Ethernet) managed switches, support the IEEE 802.3at `plug-and-play' PoE communications standard. PoE enables both power and data to be transmitted on a single multi-core cable, reducing overall wiring and enabling faster installation. The Viper switches deliver up to 66W of power across their 8 PoE ports. The Viper isolates the input DC voltage from the connected devices to protect them from power surges. Power distribution is managed with ports `tuned’ to maximise distribution efficiency.

Specifically designed to meet the full requirements of the on-board rail vehicle market, the Viper switches deliver improved levels of reliability and simplified network design, installation and maintenance. On-board rolling stock applications present one of the toughest environments for any electronic device. The Viper series is designed and manufactured to exceed the EN 50155 on-board railway standard for electronic equipment, which encompasses not only EMC requirements, but also shock, vibration, extended temperature range and humidity. The switches have also been designed to achieve the highest mean time between failures of up to 448 000 hours (MIL-C217F2), ensuring the extremely long-term and reliable field operation that is expected within the railway industry.

The Viper switches’ WeOS operating system provides an extensive suite of IP networking standards allowing resilient and flexible networks to be created. The operating system is able to detect any rail car position changes, rotations and additions, and then compensate for such changes in the network without any manual reconfiguration. To ease installation and maintenance, Viper switches and any connecting devices can be configured with identical IP addresses in each carriage. This simplifies the overall IP plan and standardises configurations.

The Viper-212-P8 switch offers additional routing capability to enable the connection of subnets and improved overall network performance. The WeOS operating system is also able to balance data traffic on the network to maintain maximum throughput and stability. The introduction of increased traffic from new cameras or video stream will therefore not affect the stability of the entire network. In the event of any link or hardware failure Westermo’s unique FRNT technology is able to re-configure a large network in 20ms.

The Viper incorporates M12 connectors integrated into the housing to reduce size and further protect against vibration. With an ultra-robust design, sealed to IP65 and vibration resistant to military standards, these units are ideal for situations where mechanical stress, moisture, condensation, dirt or continuous vibrations (such as those produced by an engine) could adversely affect the function of standard switches. A unique Gore-Tex® membrane is used to prevent condensation build up from normal climatic day/night cycling. The Viper is also very compact and ultra-thin, enabling installation within the confined spaces of railcar panels.

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