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ERTMS on SATELLITE Galileo Game Changer

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ERSAT GGC (ERTMS on SATELLITE Galileo Game Changer)

Reporting period: 2018-12-01 to 2019-11-30

The ERSAT-GGC (ERtms + SATellite Galileo Game Changer) Innovation Project represents a fundamental contribution to the roadmap for the application of the ERTMS European rail signalling and safety standard to the local and regional lines, by the introduction of the GNSS Satellite positioning and the public radio Telecommunication networks.
The development and the diffusion of the ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) standard has guaranteed in the last decades a significant increment to the safety and to the interoperability of the railways across Europe. Although the ERTMS standard has experienced a considerable employment to the international and main lines, its adoption to the regional and local lines has been more limited, due to the associated costs and to the difficulty to guarantee the backward-compatibility with the equipment already installed on such lines.
In order to overcome this issue, a comprehensive roadmap has been defined by the EC, the relevant agencies (GSA, ERA, ESA) and the main stakeholders (rail undertakers, railways industries, and notified bodies) for the application to the ERTMS standard of the GNSS Satellite positioning, exploiting in particular the newly commissioned Galileo and EGNOS European systems (see Figure 1). The ERSAT GGC Project is a crucial step inside this roadmap.
The previous European Funded Projects (e.g. ERSAT-EAV, RHINOS, etc.) prepared the definition and refinement of a possible Enhanced Functional ERTMS Architecture Capable of using GNSS and Public Radio TLC Technologies. The new Architecture has been consolidated and finalized during the first phase of the ERSAT-GGC Project and is being assessed by the Notified Bodies within the Project for its safe application to the operational service. It will allow to reach the following important objectives and targets of the “E-GNSS in Rail Signalling Roadmap”:
• Reduce the requirements in terms of hard equipment to achieve the same functions as ERTMS;
• Achieve the highest safety standards in currently unprotected lines at a lesser cost than equivalent alternatives;
• Increase the capacity of the lines without investing in tracks thanks to the average reduction of the trains’ confidence intervals.
During the first phase of the ERSAT GGC Project, the new Enhanced Functional ERTMS Architecture capable of using GNSS and Public Radio TLC Technologies, defined during the previous European Funded Projects, has been consolidated and finalized in the public deliverable “Enhanced Functional ERTMS Architecture Capable of using GNSS and Public Radio TLC Technologies”. Apart the new architecture, the deliverable also contains the definition of the new ERTMS Operational Scenarios that define the procedures that will make it possible to implement the architecture to the actual operative systems. This, together with the first test suite that has been developed in the public deliverable “Functional and Not Functional Test Specification”, and that will be used for the verification of the systems implementing the new solution, mark important steps from the definition of the high-level architecture to its application to the operational service.
The new architecture has also been object of both a qualitative and quantitative Hazard Analyses (public deliverables “Safety Analysis of ERSAT ERTMS Application over GNSS” and “GNSS Quantitative Study for ERSAT GGC Project”), which verified the safety of the new solution for its application to the target systems.
Finally, a process has been defined that attempting to assess the quality of the GNSS signal along the railway lines (both new and existing lines), in order to help the designers of the new systems to place the Virtual Balises, which are the core element of the architecture and will replace the current ERTMS physical balises. In the second phase of the project, the development of the procedure was completed, together with its implementation, which will mark a further step towards the application of the new Architecture to the operational service.
During this phase of the project the toolset was as well integrated in the various partners laboratories and validated. Two complete track surveys were carried out, both in Italy and in Spain (see Figure 2,3), and the acquired data was elaborated through the toolset, generating the classification of the lines in terms of expected GNSS signal quality and expected hazard causes.
The toolset and its specification, together with the Enhanced Functional Architecture and the related Hazard Analysis, were object of an independent assessment performed by the Notified bodies.
The website already includes all the issued deliverables considered as public.
The project has ended, it has achieved and delivered on its deliverables. A new process was developed for classifying tracks in terms of characteristics and reception of the GNSS signal, necessary for the correct design of the signaling system along the railway line. Both the process and the toolset to perform the classification have been defined. Notified bodies will evaluate them with the aim of their future standardization.
The output of ERSAT-GGC project will be used in other future projects, aiming at the operational service of the new systems, like for example the RFI Novara - Rho Project, that will ultimately produce the desired results for the society, providing safer, more cost-effective, ecological and accessible means of transport to the community.
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