Industrial Ethernet aiding traffic safety

Aug. 17, 2005
Aug. 17, 2005 - Vendor cites benefits of deployments along several European roadways and tunnels.

Hirschmann Automation and Control GmbH (, based in Neckartenzlingen, Germany, recently announced that it has supplied industrial Ethernet technology for more than 30 tunnels in several European countries.

"Industrial-standard components, high-bandwidth and redundant-loop structures deliver high network availability levels," the company stated in a release announcing their recent projects. "The applications range from traffic surveillance through emergency management to utilities control."

"In earlier times tunnels were mainly equipped with field buses, remote control systems, and analog video," explained Wolfgang Schenk, a sales manager with Hirschmann. "With Ethernet, different applications can now be controlled over a single high-speed network. Also, special redundancy methods safeguard continuous data transfer."

The company specifically cites the Markusberg Tunnel in Luxembourg, in which the communications for surveillance and emergency call systems are handled over an Ethernet network. The network, linked to a gigabit-speed backbone, consists of five optical Fast Ethernet loops with mechanical ingress climatic electromagnetic (MICE) switches, featuring redundancy mechanisms offering reconfiguration times of 500 milliseconds, the company explained. Rail servers are deployed for real-time video transfer.

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