This experiment is a demonstrator of the moving railway catenary dynamics. The purpose of this experiment is to reproduce the forces created by the contact wire onto the pantograph of a train. Indeed, the contact wire exhibits oscillations, depending on the catenary system geometry (mast, dropper, insulator, etc.) and the train speed.

The Setup

The first figure shows the complete set-up. The arm exerting a force on a current collector (scaled version) can be seen in the second figure.

Laboratory equipment for Impendance Control Demonstrator

Figure 1: complete set-up

Pantograph under pressure

Figure 2: detailed view of the arm

Challenge for the Teaching

  • Study the different vibration modes of the contact wire
  • Test different catenary and pantograph geometries
  • Employ modern control theory to emulate virtual system behaviour

Application in Practice

  • Mechatronic impedance control
  • Mass spring damper systems
  • Bending beam / tensioned string
  • Railway catenary design and test

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