Technology to transport people safely  














 The system has been specifically developed for the RAILWAY NETWORK of RFI S.p.A.  (Technical Specification: RFI DPRIM STF IFS TE070 dated 05-07-2010) and for the Depots of Trenitalia S.p.A. (Technical Specification: STF VIP - VIII-TRENITALIA-Ed-02-2003). It is used to perform a remote VISUAL monitoring of the MECHANICAL CONDITIONS of the pantographs of TRAINS in TRANSIT in the various compartments, up to a speed of 300 km/h.  As part of PREVENTION and SAFETY measures for Railway transport, in its 15 years of use, Micronova's PVI system proved to be HIGHLY EFFECTIVE. It allowed NOOC operators to promptly intervene on TRAINS with visible PANTOGRAPH issues (structural warping or excessive wear of the shoes) before they caused serious damage to ED infrastructure or the locomotive itself, with resulting interruption of the Railway service. Also ED (Electrical Drive) lines can cause Pantograph failures due to: wire damage, incorrect staggering, disengagement of the droppers, etc.


                                         Click the buttons here below to view the videos showing the relative causes of accidents to pantographs. 




EFFICIENCY has an IMPORTANT role in terms of transport, as NO PREVENTION and/or FAILURE TO CONDUCT CHECKS inevitably leads to interruption of Transport. This generates clear DISTRUST towards the Railway company, as well as a sense of UNRELIABILITY for this means of transport.

Moreover, once the events are reported by mass media, the Public Opinion develops a sense of uncertainty and inefficiency towards Railway Transport. This will cause further and broader DAMAGE TO ITS IMAGE. Therefore the Italian Railway Company Ferrovie Italiane believed it was VITAL to improve, with all available technological means, PREVENTION and CHECKS both before the transport starts (exit and entry of the Locomotives from the Depots of Trenitalia or from the depots of its new Competitors), as well as when travelling along the Railway routes.

Since 2000, Micronova has been constantly working on designing new solutions and has increasingly improved the performance levels of these Remote Control systems, with the resulting implementation of safety standards.

Strengths of Micronova PVI systems:

Economic investment

  Low cost of the PVI system and high performance levels

Infrastructure required

  Simple M30 Poles with a Platform - installed outside the clearance area of the High Speed Line; easy to install.

RCS installation

  The Remote Camera Stations (RCS) are installed on M30 Poles in max 2 days

NOOC management

  Fully Automated and highly reliable

Generation of Archives on CCSs

  The Central Control Station (CCS) automatically generates folders by:  Day - Month - Year

Photos Archived on CCSs

  As well as presenting the Photo received, the CCS automatically saves it in the archive

Train Number   (ICP)

  The CCS assigns a unique "Train no." to:  the Photo and File Name

Archive Search

  With the "Train Number", searches in the archive Files are performed immediately

Alarm Classification Colours

  An Alarm is automatically triggered as a result of damage to the Pantograph and a Colour will appear at the top of the photo in relation to the seriousness of the DAMAGE (colours defined by RFI)

Management of Remote Stations

  FullyAutomated and highly reliable

Remote support

  Support for the whole system is conducted REMOTELY, thereby providing extensive Operational services and Service work.

Environmental interference

  High IMMUNITY of the Remote Camera Stations (RCS) to environmental interference

Management costs

  Very few

Reliability: Hardware/Software

  With 15 years of experiences in the field, our systems have statistically proven high reliability levels

Maintenance Costs

  Very low, given the high reliability of the systems

RCS Maintenance

  Conducted DURING THE DAY, as RCS are installed outside the "High Speed clearance area" and are insulated from infrastructure

No Power on ED Line

  Not required, as the systems are outside the "High Speed clearance area"

Insulation from RFI Infrastructure

  The RCS are entirely Mechanically and Electrically Insulated from RFI's Infrastructure and placed outside the "High Speed clearance area"



Extremely low Electrical Consumption for RCSs

  When operating, an RCS System for High Speed Line equipped for no.2 Tracks, absorbs around 90W.   For 3KV Historical Lines, it absorbs around 60W


Our PVI systems can also be used on underground networks.







Purpose of the  Pantograph Video Inspection (PVI) system -  RFI_Version

The Systems consist of:

Whenever a Train passes, the RCS automatically takes HD Photos of each individual Pantograph. The images acquired by the RCS are automatically sent to the Central Control Station (CCS) in real time. Operators are automatically warned by the system and visually check its state. If there are serious anomalies, they start the relative procedures to prevent any accidents.

 Every Remote Camera Station can be connected to the Central Control Station via a point-to-point line (galvanic line with a G.SHDSL  Model or  Optic Fibre)  to a Flow of data, or via the Railway INTRANET network.  If these connections between the RCS and CCA are not available, you can use a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) or GSM Modem or other connections: Radio, Satellite, etc.

The careful combination of:  the performance of the cameras/Flashes and RCS control modules specifically designed by us allow for clear photographs of the pantographs up to a speed of >300 km/h.

Remote  Camera Station (RCS)

The REMOTE system consists of ELECTRONIC MODULES (for DIN guides)  made by us, which manage up to no.4 Digital Cameras, along with the relative illuminators, for each individual RCS site. Our Video server is used to connect/control all the functions of the various Modules, including the communication systems with the CCS.

Each ELECTRONIC unit controls all the parameters of the camera and through special sensors connected to it, it synchronises the moment when the photo is taken with extreme accuracy.  Special care was placed in selecting the electronic components of the Modules to ensure HIGH RELIABILITY and LOW CONSUMPTION. 

> The absorption of a REMOTE system for Historical Lines with no.2 tracks (no.2 cameras and relative lighting units) is around 60 W.

> The absorption of a REMOTE system for a TAV with no.2 tracks (no.2 cameras and relative lighting units) is around 90 W.

The safe support Structures and their relative position in the safety area allow for daytime maintenance of the Micronova Remote Camera Stations (RCS), without interrupting the TAV traffic.



Detail of the support structure of the RCS and relative camera equipment attached to it.




 Our Pantograph Monitoring systems can interact with the Railway INTRANET LAN network, both via CABLE/OF and via Wi-Fi.

The  INTRANET of the Italian Railway Company allows operators to fully share the data and photos, both for RCSs in their own compartment and for the ones of other compartments.  This allows for a safe, extensive and quick overall examination of the images of any trains and in any nearby compartment where it passed.

PLEASE NOTE- This is an OPEN system, which means it can be implemented and adapted to any future requirement of the Client. Moreover, the system has a REMOTE SUPPORT service. Therefore, via a REMOTE station, one can check – for any RCS or CCS – the relative parameters, Log Files and check their efficiency or implement their FIRMWARE.

 Central Control  Station (CCS) at the NOOC

The CCS is connected to the remote RCS system via a Modem/Data Flow or via the Italian Railway Company's INTRANET network or other Radio networks.

Whenever a new image is received, it is automatically shown to the NOOC (Network Operation Operational Centre) operator as a FULL screen image; at the same time an SOUND SIGNAL indicates

The  FILES received contain the following data:

- Train No. (data relating to the Train nr. - taken from RFI's system: ICP)

- Physical Locomotive No. (Trenitalia version: data detected on the Locomotives' data plates)

- RCS Site Name

- Even or Odd-numbered Track

- Date and time (hour-minutes-seconds).

The Files are AUTOMATICALLY inserted into daily folders generated by the software (Archivio Generale).

The General Archive, with an efficient structure and easy to browse through, let's you run an historical analysis of all past trains in transit.  

An additional special folder (ArchivioAnomalie) is used to save in the archive and HIGHLIGHT the photos of pantographs with clear damage.

The FILES are saved with the international ".jpeg" standard.


Thanks to new latest generation HD Digital Cameras, the system's easy and powerful ZOOM lens allows for extensive enlargements of the parts you are interested in, which in turn allows for a quick, meticulous and accurate search

            Example causes of damaged

Special Version for Trenitalia, with dual DIGITAL camera to also acquire the " Locomotive Number".   


In the top right-hand corner of the image there is the "physical NUMBER of the LOCOMOTIVE" (Train Number for the RFI version; Locomotive Number for the Trenitalia version). Moreover, the photo features additional data including:  name of the site of time and date, etc.

The Files are automatically saved by the programme under the file name reporting the "Train Locomotive number" to allow for a quick and efficient search.

During the PRINTING STAGE, at the top of the image there is a brief summary with all the identification data (see photo here below).


Moreover, the special Trenitalia version (for train depots), also acquires the images of LOWERED Pantographs.



Partial enlargement of a damaged pantograph



Current available OPTIONS

WARNING - These are additional options and therefore they can be integrated, upon request, on Digital PVI systems already in operation.  Latest generation digital " Wire Lifting  Measurement (WLF)  remote control system.  

This optional system is used to check both the pantograph's thrust force towards the ED line and the environmental parameters (wind speed and direction, temperature, etc.) that interact during the operation of the pantograph in relation to the ED Line. Moreover, when the pantograph passes across the detection point, along with the thrust data, a Diagram showing the oscillations generated on the ED Wire when the Pantograph passes is also sent to the Central Control Station (see here below). 

In addition to this, there is also this (additional) system fitted with an "Alarm" that will be triggered Automatically and alert the NOOC Operator in the event of values outside the range set on the WLU system ( +/-  ED wire lifting).  The parameters associated with the alarm RANGE can be set according to each site. This Analysis will let you examine the structural and calibration conditions of the pantograph. The WLU system is an integration and does not replace the current Pantograph Video Inspection system, but it must be used in combination with the latter.

Additional features


PVI Remote CameraStation -version for Trenitalia depots