From IEEE VTM: Safety in Railway Control Signaling Systems

12 April, 2021 | Publications
David Franco, Marina Aguado, Christian Pinedo, Igor Lopez, Inigo Adin, and Jaizki Mendizabal
Full title: A Contribution to Safe Railway Operation: Evaluating the Effect of Electromagnetic Disturbances on Balise-to-BTM Communication in Railway Control Signaling Systems

Electromagnetic (EM) disturbances and compatibility issues are the most common problems affecting communication and signaling systems. The duration of field testing to solve this railway EM interference (EMI) problems may vary between three and 12 months, with the cost of the complete process between €25,000 and €1.5 million [1].

Currently, the railway industry demands the building of strategies and tools to promote paths toward zero on-site testing [2] and reduce the duration of field tests; however, there is a lack of laboratory testing resources for these approaches.

Our research effort is focused on developing laboratory simulation tools to support these strategies by identifying and measuring how EM disturbances disrupt the railway communication architectures, resulting in potential risks for the railway operation.

This article explores the link between EM compatibility threats and the quality of service (QoS) or key performance indicators (KPIs) of a generic railway control signaling system (RCSS). We first introduce our integrated laboratory simulation platform. Then, we focus our study on the communication link between the balise equipment and the balise transmission module (BTM) onboard unit, the existent interferences, and their impact on the upper layers.

Through a multidisciplinary approach, we manage to cover the full protocol stack, including EMI, balise modeling, and European Train Control System (ETCS) message exchange in the same simulation framework.

Full Article: IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, February 2021

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