Zircon’s Advice Secures BS EN 50128 SIL2 Compliance for American Rail Grinding System

Zircon’s Advice Secures BS EN 50128 SIL2 Compliance for American Rail Grinding System

Zircon’s Advice Secures BS EN 50128 SIL2 Compliance for American Rail Grinding System

Other: BS EN 50128 (SIL2)
Our client provides rolling stock engineering solutions to rail networks across the world. They had recently signed a contract with Network Rail to supply a number of their rail grinding systems however, having never dealt with the European market, our client had very limited knowledge of the safety standards expected for equipment being used on the UK rail network.

A requirement of the BS EN 50128 standard dictates that all software must be audited by an independent safety assessor. Knowing of this requirement our client had recruited the services of a railway consultancy. After the assessors’ initial review our client was informed that their processes did not fit the requirements of the EN 50128 standard.

Knowing of Zircon’s extensive experience in this area, the assessor recommended that our client get in contact with Zircon as an organisation that could assist and advise them on how to refine their processes.

Zircon provided our client with some initial consultancy services, to conduct an investigation and review of the existing products and development processes. In order to ascertain the areas preventing our client from achieving the required safety standard, Zircon conducted a gap analysis as part of this review process.

Following the identification of the areas that did not meet the safety standard requirements Zircon provided further assistance to our client, by offering advice on how to improve each of the identified issues. Recognising that Zircon had a wealth of knowledge in regards to the EN 50128 standard, our client invited us to work alongside their team to make the necessary alterations to their processes in order to acquire the desired standard. Zircon were also involved in the preparation and independent review of project documentation, which included component and system test specifications.

Our client’s product has since successfully passed the safety audit and have begun the next stages of the process to introduce their product to the UK rail network.

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Next Generation CCTV System Boosts Passenger Safety and Supports Driver Only Operation

Next Generation CCTV System Boosts Passenger Safety and Supports Driver Only Operation

Next Generation CCTV System Boosts Passenger Safety and Supports Driver Only Operation

Operating Systems: Linux
Languages: C++, Python, XML
Comms/Networking: QT
Other: BS EN 50128 SIL1
Our client provides CCTV systems to passenger train manufacturers across the world. Our client was developing its next generation CCTV system and Zircon was contracted to work closely with them to provide the software element of the system.

Zircon was responsible for the design and development of the software and its integration with client provided hardware and subsequent testing. The system was required to be developed in accordance with EN 50128 Safety Integrity Level 1 as Driver Only Operation, where the driver is responsible for ensuring whether it is safe to move off, was a requirement.

The CCTV system consists of a number of components:

  • Saloon, Door, Front/Rear Facing and Roof cameras
  • Video Recording Unit
  • Network Switches
  • Drivers Touchscreen Interface
  • Off-train playback software

Zircon developed software for all of the above elements.

The software was designed to allow the system to self-configure itself as components are added and removed from the CCTV system network.  Video footage is continually recorded onto hot swappable disks until all available space is filled before the oldest recordings are overwritten.

The CCTV system receives alarm messages (passenger or fire) from the train and if an alarm is triggered then the recording of the incident, and a period of time either side, is archived.  Video is recorded in a secure format in accordance with Home Office regulations and separate playback software developed to prevent tampering to allow video footage to be used in legal cases.

On arrival at a platform, the drivers in-cab display is activated to show images from the Door cameras.  The driver is then able to ensure they are free from obstruction before moving off.  If an alarm is raised, then drivers display will switch to the nearest camera to give them a view of the incident.

Zircon’s involvement started with developing and defining the client supplied system requirements into a set of clear and traceable points.  These requirements were then used as an input into the System Architecture Design, where the System was split into a set of components.  Each of the identified components was then analysed, designed and captured in a Component Design Specification.  These specifications could then be used by the Zircon development team to develop the code.  In order to ensure the production of maintainable code, and reduce cost at later stages in the products life, Zircon worked to a set of coding standards and gave great care to carry out regular code reviews and static analysis.  Component, System/Integration and Acceptance testing was then used to ensure that the developed software conforms with the original requirements and was fit for purpose.

Due to the safety aspects of the system, the software had to be robust and reliable and the integrity of the live and recorded video footage maintained at all times, and as such the software was developed in accordance with EN 50128 SIL 1 procedures and to Zircon’s BSI accredited Quality Management System. 

Before final handover to the client the system was tested and reviewed by an independent third party to ensure the system met the EN 50128 SIL1 standard and that the system assurance procedures had been followed correctly.

Zircon successfully delivered the software to our client and has subsequently provided support services to our client as they introduced and modified the system for new clients.

 

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Incorporation of MOVA Algorithm Optimises Effectiveness of New Traffic Light Controller

Incorporation of MOVA Algorithm Optimises Effectiveness of New Traffic Light Controller

Incorporation of MOVA Algorithm Optimises Effectiveness of New Traffic Light Controller

Operating Systems: Linux
Languages: C++, Python
Comms/Networking: Serial Communications
Hardware: ARM Processor
Zircon’s client is a provider of technology and network services for a wide number of the UK and Ireland’s largest operational systems, in industries that range from defence to rail and traffic. As part of their traffic solutions range our client were beginning the process of developing a new traffic light controller. MOVA is an Optimisation Algorithm designed to optimise traffic flow at isolated junctions and our client wanted it incorporated into the new product.

The source code of the optimisation software was designed to run on a x86 processor, however the client needed it to run on a Linux ARM based system. In order for the software to be successfully integrated into our client’s product it would need to be ported over.

The responsibility of performing the software port was given to Zircon, with the addition of developing and integrating a serial communications library, as our client did not have ready access to the necessary resources and knowledge in house.

Before delivering the ported code back to the client Zircon developed and implemented a system test specification to ensure that the software would function as expected when integrated with the traffic controller’s system, as well as ensuring that the final outcome was compliant with the client’s requirements.

The traffic controller is now fully functional and the client has installed the system in locations across the UK.

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