VECTUS offers a highly flexible control system, tailored to each specific project.
The core of the VECTUS system is an ingenious control concept comprising the vehicle speed, positioning, and route selection, inclusive of all safety aspects. It is a distributed control system, enabling the network to be expanded over time without limitations. The control system is highly flexible and easily adaptable to specific applications without impacting on safety.
The robust performance of the VECTUS control system is due to the optimal combination of distributed and asynchronous control with dynamic moving block (detailed below). VECTUS has performed rigorous analysis of the needs of the control system in consultation with leading experts in the fields of logistics and transport planning. In the early stages, VECTUS developed its own generic simulator and tested various types of large system networks to verify functionalities and the performance of different control layers and system optimisation.
The Vectus control system involves several computers. Each vehicle has a vehicle control ECU to manage the vehicle’s functionality. There is also a Safety Vehicle Controller to monitor and ensure the safety aspects of the vehicle complemented with multiple communication paths between the vehicle and the infrastructure.
Within the infrastructure there are distributed controllers and safety controllers along the track (similar to ATC fixed installations). Each station has a set of controllers, as do the platform doors, inverters for linear motors (if used), ticketing machines, platform and vehicle displays, and passenger communications systems.
Distributed control means that the control is carried out locally for a limited part of the system. If there is a fault, it only affects a small part of the system. The rest of the system will continue to work. With the distributed system, there is no increase in the load for each controller as the system grows, therefore enabling future extensions.
The control system is asynchronous (the opposite of synchronous) meaning that maximum performance is retained even when the system is expanded and travel load increased. The merging of vehicles is handled as and when required. There may be a need at times to reduce speeds to efficiently facilitate merging in switches. This is essential when transporting large volumes of passengers during rush hours.
Dynamic Moving Block
A dynamic moving block system is superior to any fixed block vehicle protection system, even if the fixed blocks are very short. With a dynamic moving block, the distance between the vehicles varies depending on the speed. This allows queuing on the track, if required, without backing up the system for long distances (the vehicles will stop almost bumper to bumper) and enables varying speeds along the track without impacting on the overall capacity of the system.With dynamic moving block control, vehicles can run with shorter distance (headway) between them at lower speeds.
The VECTUS system optimises the logistics of the vehicles. Vectus has an adaptive control which learns from travel patterns of traffic from previous days. This can be manually altered if required; for instance if a vehicle is delayed arriving at one station or if a ‘special event’ generates an unusually large crowd. Effective empty vehicle management is another key element in reducing the overall mileage of vehicles.