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Link helps world see speed record

12 April 2007

Last week, a French TGV train reached a speed of 360mph and smashed the world speed record for a wheeled train as it did so. Making sure the world got to see the pictures was Link Research, whose wireless systems were crucial links in the coverage that was beamed live around the world, writes Andy Stout.

The TGV’s new record was broadcast live on French TV (AMP TV), using ten cameras switched into four up-links and one back-up installed on board the train. These were supplied by Visual TV France. These cameras were fitted with four LinkXP wireless transmitters to send signals to an aircraft flying at about 18,000 feet above. Another plane fitted with a stabilised camera system, followed the train at 1,000 ft.

From the plane, the five signals were multiplexed and beamed down to a truck parked at Reims station using two LINK HD systems. Comat Metracom supplied the wireless links, receivers and decoders that made this possible. The cameras covered a total area of about 150kms.

“If any break in transmission occurs,” said Yves Le Moing of Comat Metracom, “the recovery is quite instantaneous with Link decoders.”

The tests took place on the 4th April on the new Paris to Strasbourg railway line, following technical tests a few days beforehand. This beats the previous world record for a train on rails, which was also set by a TGV train travelling at 320mph in 1990. Only a Japanese magnetic levitation train has gone faster, achieving 361mph in 2003. Something to think about next time you try to commute into a major European capital.

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