Meteorcomm is the rail industry’s trusted choice for wireless communications technology that reliably transports mission-critical information. With a robust data backbone that is integrated into the railroads’ IT infrastructure, Meteorcomm delivers innovative solutions that enable Positive Train Control (PTC) compliance and improve operational efficiencies.
The voice of our customers drives our strategies, products, and services. We strive to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction by offering reliable and cost-effective solutions that help the rail industry overcome its greatest technical challenges.
Headquartered in the state of Washington since its founding in 1975, Meteorcomm has been a pioneer in providing wireless communications technology for multiple industries around the world.
Meteorcomm began as a small consulting company that commercialized meteor burst communications as an effective and reliable alternative to satellite communications. The technology uses ionized meteor trails to propagate radio signals. These trails exist in the 80 to 120 km region of the earth’s atmosphere and are used to reflect radio frequency signals between two locations. Meteor burst communications was well suited for long-range, low data rate messaging across vehicles, locomotives, marine vessels, aircrafts, and remote hydro-meteorological stations. Meteorcomm’s technology was quickly adopted by a global customer base spanning every continent and multiple industries.
In the 1990s, Meteorcomm developed and patented Extended Line of Sight (ELOS) as a method to communicate real-time data up to 50 miles. This extended range of communication was achieved by diffraction around the curvature of earth, atmospheric diffraction, and tropospheric propagation.
In the early 2000s, Meteorcomm began developing wireless communications applications for the rail industry, including HyRail monitoring, switch point monitoring, and PTC communications.
In 2008, the U.S. government passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA). This requires PTC to be implemented across 70,000 miles of track that is traveled by nearly 50 railroads. PTC is a set of technologies to help prevent train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and the movement of a train through a main line switch in the improper position. In 2010, the four largest U.S. railroads agreed to adopt Meteorcomm’s communications technology as the foundation for a nationwide interoperable PTC solution.
Interoperability is critical to successful PTC operations because trains frequently travel on tracks owned by other railroads. Successful interoperability demands a reliable wireless communications system with the ability to relay data across the entire U.S. rail infrastructure. To meet these demands, Meteorcomm developed and now provides the Interoperable Train Control Network (ITCnet®) platform as the communications solution for PTC.
Meteorcomm partners with world-class manufacturers, system integrators, and software developers to enhance, support, and deploy ITCnet solutions across the country. All Class I railroads, as well as commuter and short line railroads, are currently using ITCnet.
Meteorcomm is focused on leading the way in developing advanced wireless communications technology for the rail industry. As Meteorcomm continues to support PTC communications, the ITCnet platform will evolve to provide highly reliable, interoperable, and secure communications for rail applications beyond PTC. Meteorcomm is also developing the ITCview asset manager to improve the reliability, maintainability, interoperability and security for railroad operations. Through strategic partnerships and the unwavering dedication to help customers succeed, Meteorcomm will continue to be a pioneer in developing some of the world’s most innovative wireless communications technology.