Roger Kessler


Schweizer Electronic AG

Wheel detection by radar for mobile track warning systems


  • RSK-R: a mobile train detector
  • RSK-R detects wheels with radar technology
  • Combination of various techniques of signal
  • processing


At railway construction sites, the worker can be warned of the approaching trains by mobile warning systems. The train detection of these systems is carried out either manually by lookouts or automatically using well-known axle counters, such as the inductive wheel detection of Frauscher. Due to the higher safety level, automatic detection is preferred and therefore, in accordance with the EN 16704-2-1 standard, SIL3 and SIL4 warning systems are implemented. Until recently, the train detection had to be mounted to the track. This required work in hazardous areas and resulted in safety concerns and additional safety measures to set up the Safe System of Work (SSOW). As a matter of fact, the operating expenses of the installation of these safety measures often inhibit automatic systems from being used for short duration construction sites. In order to optimise safety and to decrease costs, Schweizer Electronic developed the RSK-R, a mobile train detector that is installed quickly and away from live trains and hazardous areas. The RSK-R detects wheels using radar technology and is installed approximately 1 m away from the track. To achieve the functionality and the required safety level (Sil4), various techniques of signal processing have been combined. This article is intended to explain the technical principle and to provide insight into necessary signal processing.


Roger Kessler studied Electronics Engineering from 1997 to 2001 at the Technikum in Vienna. Afterwards he worked for BMW AG Munich in the field of development of car audio systems from 2002 to 2011. Then from 2005 to 2008 he received his Master of Business Administration and Engineering (MBA & Eng.) from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich. Since 2011 Roger Kessler works for Schweizer Electronic AG Reiden in Switzerland as senior development project manager of functionally safe devices and as project manager for track side warning systems.

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