VECTUS has developed its own, very sophisticated system emulation tool. The complete structure of all processing power is built up in the emulator exactly as it would be required for the real transport system.
The emulation process includes: running the correct software for the various safety, operator interface and vehicle systems as individual processes, then communicating between them exactly as the real application does. All hardware, i.e. vehicles, platform doors and ticketing systems are emulated. There is a computer programme which 'emulates' the behaviour of the hardware as accurately as possible by means of interfacing with all the IO (digital and analogue inputs and outputs, speed sensors, etc.) for each process in the system. The accuracy of the emulation has been verified by actual performance at the test track. All systems are replicated in the emulation so all logs, reports and operator interfaces are live.
The emulator is a useful tool for simulating real life applications. New software can be tested and verified before being introduced into the real system. Scenario planning can also be done; for example, how will the system perform if a failure occurs or if a specific passenger demand occurs?
Emulator add-ons can be applied to model electrical systems using the topology for the specific system. This can be used to determine the exact currents and loads in all parts of the electrical system - all the way back to the supply grid.
In a similar way, exact locations of WLAN and radio communications equipment can be entered - and the load analysed in detail for a specific scenario – and then compared to the overall capability for a given communication system configuration. This is an extremely important area to validate in order to avoid disruptions during localised high system loads.
The results from the emulations can be represented in several different ways. The raw data that is stored contains all relevant information for all vehicles and all ‘transports’ (passengers) for an unlimited emulation period. Typically this is extracted into spreadsheet files. Operational data for each transport can be information such as origin, destination, actual (real) time, waiting time, and travel time. This can then be further processed and analysed. In a similar way, on a vehicle by vehicle basis, there is data for each trip origin, destination, number of passengers, distance travelled, idle time, etc. It is always possible to go back to the raw data and analyse the exact circumstances for a particular event.