Project Description

Zircon’s client had previously been given the responsibility of installing Platform Screen Doors (PSD) at 17 sites along one of the UK’s leading metro lines. At the time of the initial installation our client’s system was only required to accommodate a six-car long train, however provisions were made that would allow the system to accommodate a 7th car if required at a later date.

Inevitably, our client was contracted to provided functionality to the 7th ‘dummy doors’ however, as the integration of seven-car long trains was to be carried out over an extended period of time, both six-car and seven-car set ups would be running at the same time. To ensure passenger safety our client needed to make sure that in situations where a six-car set up was present the 7th set of doors would not open, and vice versa in the presence of a seven-car arrangement.

For the duration of the initial PSD installation project our client maintained a full five-door system at their offices in order to facilitate development and testing. Unfortunately at the time of the second project this set up was no longer available, therefore in order for our client to have the ability to perform acceptance testing on the Platform Edge Door Controller (PEDC) software they required a simulation of the Door Control Units (DCU).

Having worked with Zircon on a number of previous projects our client was confident that we could provide them with a solution that would fulfil their requirements. Zircon’s first task was to develop an initial simulator software design from the specifications provided by the client.

Once the client was happy with the design proposed by Zircon, work could begin on the simulation itself. Zircon’s solution consisted of a PC running software that simulates multiple DCUs.  These connect to the serial port on the PEDC using a multi-drop communications protocol.  This enables simulation of any number of DCUs, to allow testing of the PEDC, without a full set of platform screen doors and associated hardware.

The initial test of Zircon’s solution made use of a PEDC communications simulator developed by Zircon as part of the development process, however for the acceptance testing process an actual PEDC system, provided by our client, was used.

By having Zircon develop the DCU simulator our client was able to concentrate on the actual PSD software and were able to carry out acceptance testing without the added expense or time that would have been necessary to recreate the original 5-door test rig.