Skip to main content

System for vehicle-infrastructure Interaction Assets health status monitoring

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SIA (System for vehicle-infrastructure Interaction Assets health status monitoring)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-08-31

At European level, railway infrastructure and vehicle maintenance costs are estimated at above 20,000M€ per year. Distribution of maintenance expenses varies among countries and organizations, but according to several references, from the part of the infrastructure, track expenses represent between 40%-70% and electrification between 8-20% of the overall costs, where rail defects account for 30% and catenary system for 50% of the previous values respectively. From the vehicle point of view, major maintenance costs are wheelsets (typically 30%-50% of the total vehicle) and pantograph (typically between 5 and 10% of the vehicle maintenance cost). The previous figures are similar for all the infrastructure managers (IMs) and train operating companies (TOCs), which amount to over 330 in EU and 1500 organizations worldwide, and supposes over 8,000M€ of recurrent expenses in the EU.
In this context, SIA (System for vehicle-infrastructure Interaction Assets health status monitoring) has the objective of developing four ready-to-use new services (i.e. iCatMon, iPantMon, iWheelMon, iRailMon) to provide prognostic information about the health status of the railway’s most demanding assets in terms of maintenance costs, at the points of the interaction between the vehicle and the infrastructure (catenary, pantograph, wheelset and rail respectively).

In order to cope with the main objective of the project and to leverage these four new services, the following technical objectives are foreseen for the project:

Development of low-cost sensor nodes for wheel to rail and pantograph to catenary interaction characterization.

Development of a data hub that collects on-board information, provides accurate position and time stamping with high availability, and transmits the information to a trackside visualization platform.

Development of predictive component degradation models that will enable anticipating to future eventual failures by means of the analysis of future scenarios.

Development of a visualization platform with two plug-in software modules specific for the railway infrastructure (catenary and rail, i.e. iCatMon and iRailMon respectivelly) and vehicle maintenance (pantograph and wheelset, i.e. iPantMon and iWheelMon respectivelly).
WP2 is dedicated to the definition of end-user-driven functionality and the system-level architecture. This WP has been successfully concluded with the achievement of the first milestone of the project (MS1: End-user requirements and SIA architecture meet market needs), thanks to the consolidation of a set of high-level requirements and the design of the high-level architecture. The participation of the end-users present in the consortium has been key to establish the functionality and interfaces of the four services to be developed within the project.

WP3 deals with EGNOS and Galileo based on-board low-cost receiver and algorithms for railway specific domain. After a preliminary selection of the EGNOS and Galileo based GNSS receiver Hardware platform, the design of the positioning algorithms has started using already available datasets. Preliminary analysis have shown promising results concerning the suitability of using a combination of EGNSS systems and Precise Point Positioning strategies in terms of better availability and accuracy. Another important development of this WP has been the development of a verification framework for the positioning algorithms (RANSS).

WP4 includes the integration of sensors, communications and energy supply for on-board sensing nodes. A preliminary set of prototypes have been developed in this WP. On the one hand, the sensors for the onboard systems and train-to-ground communication subsystem have already been used for several testing campaigns (both on track and in workshop).

WP5 deals with the component degradation predictive algorithms. In order to leverage good predictions about the future health status of the different assets, physical modelling is under research within this WP. Physical modelling also constitutes a good virtual environment to enable verification of algorithms, as it is easier to replicate damages and failures virtually than observe them in the reality. The algorithms that will link the physical magnitudes obtained from sensors with the health status of components (in terms of relevant KPIs) are also under development.

WP6 is dedicated to the visualisation platform for railway-specific maintenance applications. The four services of SIA are being implemented in a web app that has been mocked up with the support of end-users. Up to now, the back-end of the application and database architecture have been already defined for the most part of the functionality of SIA (GIS location of assets, management of inspection data and visualisation of historic data about components’ health status) and a first demo prototype is already online and working.

Finally, WP9 is dedicated to the dissemination, communication and exploitation of the results of the project. During the initial phase of this activity, the consortium has designed the graphic identity and project’s flyer, as well as set the public website, discussion forum and social networks. SIA project has been present at different events and industry fairs (e.g. Innotrans, RailLive, EU space week, etc.) and has generated its first scientific contribution with an Open Access research paper for the “IEEE Transactions of Vehicular Technologies”. It is also worth mentioning that a preliminary version of the Data Management Plan has been provided with deliverable D9.3.
SIA will innovate with four ready-to-use new services (iWheelMon, iPantMon, iCatMon and iRailMon) that provides prognostic health monitoring of key assets on the railway infrastructure and vehicle (wheel, pantograph, catenary and rail respectively). These new services are based on the measurement of the interaction characteristics between the vehicle and the infrastructure, the exact localization of potential failures and their evolution with the time, and finally the prognosis of the health status of the key components of the railway system thanks to component degradation models.

Prognostic health monitoring of key railway assets. SIA is progressing beyond the state of the art by providing four new end-to-end services to two market niches (railway infrastructure and vehicle maintenance) based on these features:

Real time monitoring of the interaction of the wheel-rail and pantograph-catenary ecosystems

Low cost solution

Customizable visualization environment

Prognosis capabilities

EGNSS localization techniques. SIA is progressing beyond the state of the art in this regard in three aspects:

Developing a low-cost positioning system that provides high accuracy and high availability in the railway environment for the purpose of geo-referencing asset condition monitoring sensor data.

Finger printing using vehicle dynamics gathered data

Development of new version of positioning algorithm testing tool (RANSS)

Component degradation models


Reduction of maintenance costs (target 15%)

Reduction of service unavailability (target 10%)

Increase in safety (target 15% reduction of derailments)