Western Washington University (Bellingham, Washington, US)

Real-Time control of a Model Railway System

At Western Washington University, students are using Ada in senior capstone projects on real-time control of a model railway system. To assist in understanding the complexities of that system, WWU faculty member Martin Osborne has developed a simulator that runs virtual trains on a virtual layout identical to the physical layout in the lab, including all switches and sensors. Use of the simulator during problem analysis has helped students understand the factors to be considered in system specification. In later project stages, the simulator assists in design verification and in more extensive software testing than would be practical with the physical system.