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EMULATION OF RADIO ACCESS TECHNOLOGIES FOR RAILWAY COMMUNICATIONS

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EMULRADIO4RAIL (EMULATION OF RADIO ACCESS TECHNOLOGIES FOR RAILWAY COMMUNICATIONS)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2020-12-31

EMULRADIO4RAIL (EMULation of RADIO access technologies for RAILway) project will provide an original testing and evaluation platform combinng hardware and software. It will connect directly the railway communication equipment to be tested, the radio channel emulators (physical systems) to mimic railway radio environments, the Network emulator and the network simulators to mimic Railway network. Initially, we planned to support multiple emulation instances (GSM-R, LTE, Wi-Fi/802.11 5G and SatCom). After discussion with X2RAIL-3 WP3 partners, GSM-R was excluded because industrial partners do not consider it in the Adaptative Communication System (ACS) in development. ACS will replace GSM-R. In addition, as 5G technology is still in development, the solution chosen to emulate 5G system (Open Air Interface-OAI) does not guaranty today the availability of all the 5G NR features. Nevertheless, the methodology developed for LTE using OAI will be transposable to OAI 5G NR as well as OAI 5G Core, with basic software updates, when available.
The concept of Emulradio4Rail platform is transposable to any radio access technology.

The project will directly contribute to the development and testing activities for the adaptable communication system for all railway technology demonstrators as defined in the Shif2rail MAAP (TD2.1) in IP2. It will contribute to the cost reduction targeted by the TD2.6 “zero on-site” testing activities. This will reduce time-to-market for RAT for Railways and contribute to greener testing solution by avoiding field trials.

The overall EMULRADIO4RAIL concept is translated into 5 specific project objectives that are addressed in the project work packages.
• Obj1: Applications requirements and railway scenarios for the foreseen RATs
• Obj2: Radio access emulation solutions and radio access emulation tool design, implementation and validation
• Obj3: Assessment of communication capabilities and modelling of IP impairments
• Obj4: Support for integration of the radio access emulation tool in the verification labs of the S2R members
• Obj5: Contribution to Shift2Rail tests strategy
During the Emulradio4Rail project, we have selected different types of electromagnetic perturbations (D1.2) and we have selected a set of radio channel models representative of railway environments (D1.3). In agreement with the ACS (Adaptive Communication System) development in X2RAIL-1 WP3, two types of platforms were developed. One emulating terrestrial radio access technologies (Wi-Fi and two LTE networks based on Open Air Interface). The other one emulates a satellite link. D3.1 gives a high-level vision and D3.3 presents the developed platforms based on hardware and software.
A set of several common tests was defined for the platforms at RF level emulating LTE and Wi-Fi, considering different railway environments, and some scenarios for perturbations. ULille performed also additional tests on Wi-Fi with different channel models (with very long delays). The Propsim F32 from Keysight was used for the channels emulation. A backhaul emulation solution based on Riverbed modeler was also provided to mimic network load.
All works were stopped in March 2020 due to COVID lock down in Europe and no possibility to access to the labs. All works have started again after 15th May 2020, although intermittently due to the different national lock downs.
The experimental assessment, with the complete platforms was performed (T3.2) up to November 2020 and the results are summarized in D3.2. The possibility to set up IP impairments models has been proven and reported in D2.2. Integration with Siemens (LTE and Wi-Fi platforms) was planned for 11/2020. Then postponed to 12/20 due to covid-19 and cancelled again. Hopefully, RDL has successfully integrated their platform with the Hitachi prototype!

Dissemination:
3 Newsletters have been published and are available on the website
A presentation at Shift2rail Innov Days was performed in common with X2RAIL-3
A small film has been prepared: http://www.emulradio4rail.eu/videos_results/
Posters were presented and also 3 conference papers were accepted. One journal has been accepted and one is under review.
Despite the sanitary situation, the project has achieved its objectives.
In D1.2 we presented the main electromagnetic perturbations in railway scenarios and the methodology to emulate them.
in D1.3 we proposed a state of the Art regarding radio channel models in the railway domain. We focused on Tapped Delay Line models and particularly the ones that can be implemented in the radio channel emulator. A set of representative channels has been selected for the experimentations.
The details of the platforms are given in D3.1. D3.3 shows the different platforms.
D3.2 presents all the results obtained with experimental assessment of the considered bearers (Wi-Fi, LTE, Satellite).
IP impairment models related to packet error rate, end-to-end delay, jitter, throughput are presented in D2.2.
D3.4 is an operational manual of the Emulradio4Rail platform. The use of the platform in X2RAIL-5 was proposed to the project leader. The rent of the platform via Railenium is possible.
Recommendations for integration are presented in D3.5.
The proof of concept of the Emulradio4Rail platform is successful. It can evolves by taking into account other RATs.
High-level vision of the platform
One brick of the platform prepared by DTU and IKL
Integration of the satellite part with Hitachi at IP level
Integration of the OAI + Wi-Fi + channel emulator at IRCICA with the GUI
Set up to inject the perturbations
ULille Wi-Fi + perturbations test bed
Satellite emulator form RDL