Since the launch of Petards’ first ontrain CCTV solution over ten years ago, the company’s portfolio has grown substantially to encompass a comprehensive range of high-tech, leadingedge products operating under the eyeTrain brand, which include digital IP-based CCTV, forward & rear-facing cameras, DOO (Driver Only Operation), passenger counting systems, condition-based on-board monitoring, and a host of wireless connectivity options.Global experience
Approved to UK Rail Group, RIA, EN and APTA standards, Petards’ products offer unrivalled performance and reliability and have been installed on over 5000 rail vehicles across the globe helping Petards play an important role within the rail industry to increase passenger safety and improve passenger satisfaction.
Delivering products either through direct customer relationships or working closely with a network of dedicated partners around the world, Petards has built up an extensive list of project references from train builders such as Bombardier, Alstom, Siemens, Hyundai Rotem, CAF and Vossloh Transportation to major transport operating companies including Arriva Trains, East Coast, First ScotRail, First Great Western, National Express Group, Southeastern Trains, Northern Ireland Railways,CP Portugal, Metro Lisbon, SNCB (Belgium) and KiwiRail (New Zealand).On-board CCTV
Petards’ core product is the eyeTrain on-board CCTV system, the first fully digital IP technology mobile surveillance solution on the market, incorporating the very latest in video, storage and communication technology.
The flexibility of this product allows thirdparty systems to share the eyeTrain Ethernet backbone or alternatively for the eyeTrain IP cameras and digital video recorders to be integrated directly to an existing on-train Ethernet infrastructure, a key technology requirement for many new-build train applications.
With eyeTrain, the digital images are encoded directly within the cameras itself, avoiding losses normally associated with analogue conversion or transmission
techniques, and providing high quality images that are suitable as evidence in a Court of Law.
Advanced camera technology
Petards has recently introduced cameras with Pixim level exposure control to its portfolio, maintaining its position as the leading provider of high quality CCTV solutions and demonstrates the company’s commitment to continued product innovation.
Whilst conventional camera technology uses a single exposure for the entire image, the sensor has independent control for each pixel and the exposure time for each pixel is adjusted to handle the unique lighting conditions at that pixel location in the image sensor array. The sensor essentially has hundreds of thousands of individual cameras, each of which produces the best image possible and these images are then combined to create a high quality video frame or picture.
Pixels in bright areas automatically adjust to eliminate over-exposure whilst pixels in dark areas adjust to eliminate under-exposure, making this the ideal solution in adverse lighting conditions such as passenger door entry areas.Advanced storage & review
Customers can choose either MJPEG or MPEG4 (H.264) video compression, utilising SATA compatible hard drive control. With up to 8TB of storage per DVR, eyeTrain offers the highest storage capacity of any mobile recording product, ensuring that important detail and activity is not lost through excessive video compression.
As customers become more sophisticated and technology-driven, Petards has seen a growing demand for the use of analytical video systems (AVS). Whilst the eyeTrain system already accommodates basic AVS functionality such as ‘door release’, ‘drivers key’, ‘door-open’, and ‘cab-active’, additional AVS functionality to detect, ‘camera tampering’, ‘abnormal passenger activity’ and ‘object left behind’ is now available through upgrades to the system.
Backed up by a host of additional on-board and remote support systems such as Portable Assistant, ReView and CryptoVision, eyeTrain’s flexibility and ease of use makes it the perfect tool for transport operators wanting to ensure safety and care for both their passengers and staff.
The eyeTrain CCTV system is set up and maintained using the eyeTrain Portable Assistant which provides the functionality to check status (both current and historic), change configuration, load new firmware, view live images and capture single images.
On-train playback and download of recorded video can be performed with the eyeTrain ReView application allowing the user to check what video footage is present and subsequently select a period, the cameras and the frame rate to be downloaded. Meanwhile off-train playback and download of recorded video can be performed by removing the storage modules and transferring them to a playback station with eyeTrain CryptoVision installed.
CryptoVision has been developed through close working with Train Operating Companies, resulting in a replay and archive suite that is highly favoured by Petards’ customers. This off-train package provides powerful yet simple to use controls to rapidly search, select and inspect the desired footage. The video images remain in a secure format throughout the evidence chain: playable video exports with embedded digital signature can be distributed to stakeholders whilst remaining in the secure native format.
Environmental robustness is uncompromising; operation is assured by the mechanical integrity, thermal management, and electrical protection of each module within the system. Even the system software employs a number of proprietary techniques designed to ensure a level of runtime stability and resilience not normally associated with high technology systems.Forward-facing CCTV
Petards’ eyeTrain Forward Facing CCTV can be supplied as a standalone system with local recording or as part of a complete eyeTrain CCTV system. Available in either standard definition or as a high-definition megapixel camera in progressive scan 2048 x 1536 pixels (4:3 aspect) or 1920 x 1080 pixels (16:9 aspect), the Petards Forward Facing CCTV solution has become the product of choice in the UK providing the highest levels of performance, reliability and resilience available. Images recorded from the leading and trailing cabs provide assistance in the investigation of operational incidents including:
Driver Only Operation
- Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD) providing a confirmation of the signal position that the driver has observed
- Suicides and other fatalities – providing the evidence for railway operations to resume quickly
- Near misses (workforce)
- Trespass, graffiti and stone throwing
- Vegetation surveys and trackside litter
- Equipment and materials left by the track
- Images can be used to confirm track works
New to the Petards portfolio is the eyeTrain Driver Only Operation CCTV allowing train operators to improve the efficiency and performance of their operations by allowing train drivers direct control to dispatch the train. The Petards system, approved to UK Rail Group Standards for DOO, includes a range of cabin monitors available in different sizes with external body mount cameras in rugged protective enclosures allowing the driver to view the length of his train and to manage the safe boarding and exiting of passengers from the vehicle.
As DOO operation is safety critical, Petards has introduced a number of error detection techniques to ensure that the images presented to the driver are not invalid, either frozen, late or from the wrong camera. Additional features include the activation of the DOO camera, which can be controlled by configuring the train speed inputs to the digital recorder or by the use of location inputs from a GPS device through the Train Management System.Passenger counting systems
The final item in the Petards portfolio is the eyeTrain Passenger Counting System providing customers with a comprehensive package of statistical gathering and analysis tools designed specifically for rail applications. The use of passenger counting data allows train operators to optimise their fleet deployment to match the profile of passengers across the vehicle diagram and avoid over- and under- occupancy journeys by setting timetables and routes that match the measured passenger demand.
Vertical infra-red detectors are situated at all vehicle doors to determine passenger flows ‘in to’ and separately ‘out of’ the vehicle entrance areas. The detector, containing local intelligence and operating proven detection algorithms, can determine the flow of people to an accuracy of 98 per cent without the backcombing of data.
Data is compiled for each vehicle door allowing the movement of passengers on and off the train to be measured and studied on a car-by-car and door-by-door basis. Vehicle name/number, station location and time and date fields are combined with the passenger load data and collected at a central data server creating a powerful management tool to facilitate important business decisions aimed at maximising efficiency, reducing costs and enhancing profits within the organisation. The central data server may be hosted by Petards or alternatively by the end user and may be made available to a specialist third-party data analyser.
The passenger counting system can be fully integrated with on-board CCTV. Sharing of this processing, storage and communication infrastructure can present significant commercial savings.Engineering services
To support the company’s exciting range of eyeTrain products, in-house engineering expertise is available across a range of different disciplines including:
- Product development
- Design services
- Product obsolescence support
- Operations management including evidence gathering.
It is this breadth of experience that gives the company a clear understanding of all aspects of end-user requirements and provides its customers with confidence that Petards’ products are closely aligned to the demanding operational, environmental and high maintenance schedules of the rail industry.