Contact Model for The Pantograph-Catenary Interaction
In the great majority of railway networks the electrical power is provided to the locomotives by the pantograph-catenary system. The single most important feature of this system consists in the quality of the contact between the contact wire(s) of the catenary and the contact strips of the pantograph. The work presented here proposes a new methodology to study the dynamic behavior of the pantograph and of the interaction phenomena in the pantograph-catenary system. The catenary is described by a detailed finite element model while the pantograph is described by a detailed multibody model. The dynamics analysis of each one of these models uses different time integration algorithms: the finite element model of the catenary uses a constant time step Newmark type of integration algorithm while the multibody model uses a variable order and variable time step Gear integration algorithm. The gluing element between the two models is the contact model, it is through the representation of the contact and of the integration schemes applied to the referred models that the needed co-simulation is carried on. The work presented here proposes an integrated methodology to represent the contact between the finite element and multibody models based on a continuous contact force model that takes into account the co-simulation requirements of the integration algorithms used for each subsystem model. The discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of the proposed methodologies and of their accuracy and suitability is supported by the application to the real operation scenario considered and the comparison of the obtained results with experimental test data.