What is Kavach?
- It is indigenously built Automatic Train Protection System in development since 2012, under the name Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), which got rechristened to Kavach or “armour”.
- It is a set of electronic devices and Radio Frequency Identification devices installed in locomotives, in the signaling system as well the tracks, that talk to each other using ultra high radio frequencies to control the brakes of trains and also alert drivers, all based on the logic programmed into them.
- One of its features is that by continuously refreshing the movement information of a train, it is able to send out triggers when a loco pilot jumps signal, called Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD), a grave offense in railway operations with respect to safety, and the key to accidents like collision.
- The devices also continuously relay the signals ahead to the locomotive, making it useful for loco pilots in low visibility, especially during dense fog.
What is new?
- In the new avatar, India wants to position Kavach as an exportable system, a cheaper alternative to the European systems in vogue across the world.
- While now Kavach uses Ultra High Frequency, work is on to make it compatible with 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology and make the product for global markets.
- Work is on to make the system such that it can be compatible with other already installed systems globally.
- The Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in Lucknow along with private vendors are developing the system. India wants more private players to take up the development and subsequent production.
- Once rolled out, it may be the world’s cheapest Automatic Train Protection System with the cost of rollout pegged at around Rs 30 lakh to 50 lakh per kilometer, a fourth of the cost of equivalent systems globally.
Why in News?
- Kavach Automatic Train Protection System was recently showcased by the Railways.