Development of a Computational Tool for the Dynamic Analysis of the Pantograph-Catenary Interaction for High-Speed Trains

P. Antunes, A. Mósca, J. Ambrósio, Joao Pombo, M. Pereira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


High-speed railway overhead systems are subjected to tight functional requirements to deliver electrical energy to train engines, while their reliability and maintenance periods have to be increased. The quest for interoperability of different pantographs in existing and projected catenary systems puts an extra level of demand on the ability to control their dynamic behaviour. Also the quality of the current collection, the loss of contact and consequent arching, not also limit the top velocity of highspeed trains but have implications in the deterioration of the functional conditions of these mechanical equipment's. To address such important aspects for the design and analysis of the pantograph-catenary system, it is necessary to develop reliable, efficient and accurate computational procedures that allow capturing all the relevant features of their dynamic behaviour. This work presents a computational tool able to handle the dynamics of pantograph-catenary interaction using a fully threedimensional methodology. In order to exploit the advantages of using a multibody formulation to model the pantograph, a high-speed co-simulation procedure is setup in order to communicate with the finite element method, which is used to model the catenary. A contact model, based on a penalty formulation, is selected to represent the interaction between the two codes. The methods and methodologies developed here are used in realistic operation conditions for high speed trains. The purpose is to study the dynamic behaviour of the pantograph-catenary system in single and multiple pantograph operation scenarios and to assess the conditions that limit the increase of the trainset speed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computational Structures Technology, CST 2012
EditorsB. H. V. Topping
PublisherCivil-Comp Press
ISBN (Print)9781905088546
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event11th International Conference on Computational Structures Technology - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 4 Sep 20127 Sep 2012
Conference number: 11 (Link to Conference Information)

Publication series

NameCivil-Comp Proceedings
PublisherCivil-Comp Press
ISSN (Print)1759-3433


Conference11th International Conference on Computational Structures Technology
Abbreviated titleCST 2012
Internet address


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