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GNSS Automated Virtualized Test Environment for RAIL

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - GATE4RAIL (GNSS Automated Virtualized Test Environment for RAIL)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2021-02-28

Satellite positioning is one of the game-changers detailed in a report from the European Union Agency for Railways in December 2015 on the longer-term perspective for the evolution of ERTMS to improve operational performance and reduce the cost of the overall system. However, some crucial issues still need investigation, in particular how to characterize GNSS effects in the railway environment and their impact on the VB placement. In this framework, GATE4Rail addresses 2 important topics:
• the characterization of the railway local environment as a component of GNSS performances;
• the development of a dedicated laboratory system architecture to simulate much more faults in the system than could be ever tested in the field.
GATE4Rail implements an architecture capable of testing ERTMS trackside and on-board signalling systems using GNSS for train positioning in a common GNSS and ETCS infrastructure, with the interfaces connecting remotely the testing partners’ labs. The overall GATE4RAIL concept is translated into 2 main streams related to S2R MAAP TD 2.4 and TD2.6 that are addressed in the project WPs. The key objectives related to the first stream are:
• identification, modelling and simulation of GNSS reception along a railway line, focusing in particular on multipath and interference;
• definition of test scenarios, considering both rail operations and GNSS signal reception;
• simulation of GNSS signal reception in nominal mode and in presence of faults.
The key objectives related to the second stream are:
• definition of a dedicated system laboratory test architecture for GNSS-based positioning solutions;
• enhancement of the laboratories test environments to support automated testing and integration of ERTMS and GNSS scenarios connecting different facilities;
• definition of the safety requirements for a future common test process framework.
During RP1 different activities about the two project streams linked to TD 2.4 and TD 2.6 were performed. In particular, related to TD 2.4:
• the requirements for railway regarding GNSS use, as well as the test cases for the performance evaluation were identified and analyzed in WP2 that was concluded with the submission of D2.1 and D2.2;
• Within WP3, the GATE4Rail simulation blocks required for assessing the GNSS performance in the railway operational environment and then the end impact on virtual balise detection were analyzed. Particularly, it was started the definition of the high-level interfaces between each simulation block and the analysis and modelling of local errors in presence of obstacles.
• The functional and operative requirements of the geographically distributed simulation and verification infrastructure were identified within WP4 in the submitted D4.1.
Related to TD2.6:
• the methodology and the tools that ensure the modularity and versatility of the simulation and verification infrastructure were identified in WP5 that was concluded with the submission of D5.1 D5.2 and D5.3. The Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE) approach was identified for the implementation of the GATE4Rail test-bed. Moreover, WP5 addressed an overview of the approval process in different countries, with the objective to provide safety needs as inputs for the platform architecture design.
• the methodology and tools to support the development and the automation of operations were identified and analyzed in WP6 and two deliverable, D6.1 and D6.2 were submitted. Continuous integration (CI) was selected as a software development methodology that enables automating the integration of code changes from multiple contributors into a single software project.
Regarding the dissemination and communication activities (WP7): the website was set up at the beginning of the project ( Brochure, leaflet and 1st newsletter of the project were produced, and a poster shown at WCRR 2019 (Tokyo).
During RP2, different activities about the two project streams linked to TD 2.4 and TD 2.6 were performed. In particular, related to TD 2.4:
• Within WP3: the main capabilities of the tools and their interfaces were defined and described. A standardized GNSS database that includes the parameters to be tested to consider the effect of local and global hazards and the raw data to be used to process the PVT solution was defined. Finally, two families of local errors were selected and modeled: common errors observed in typical environments and errors generated by local short obstacles.
• Within WP4: Modules and interfaces connecting the GNSS and ERTMS labs, according to the requirements and decomposition of the modules defined in deliverable D4.1 of WP4, were defined. The detailed design presented in deliverable D4.2 supported the execution of test defined in WP2 and was the main input for D4.3 document. Finally, development and testing of GATE4Rail infrastructure were performed and finalized by fulfilling the requirements and the design defined in deliverables D4.1 and D4.2 of WP4, reaching at the end of the project for the set-up of the infrastructure and the characterization of the environment TRL4.
In particular, related to TD2.6:
• Within WP6: the methodology and tools for automated evaluation of test results were defined. In parallel, as the final step of the process started in WP5 with deliverable D5.2 and continued in WP6, a set of general common requirements for future NoBo approval of the GATE4Rail platform architecture was proposed and applied (as described in deliverable D6.3). For the concept for automated simulation, infrastructure was reached at the end of the project TRL3.
For the dissemination and communication activities (WP7), the organization of dissemination events and the participation to conferences were considered to disseminate the project and its research activities. Results of the project were presented during the final event organized on February 22nd, culminating with a real demonstration in the ERTMS laboratory of CEDEX, on two operational railways lines, respectively in Italy and Spain.
Two states of the art on existing representative GNSS environment modelling and simulation and verification infrastructure set-up with test automation for railway environment were performed. The novelties proposed in GATE4RAIL are:
• To model error encountered at specific points of interests on a rail track;
• To define the external interfaces of different GNSS/ERTMS labs for setting-up a geo-distributed simulation and verification infrastructure (first time considering GNSS for rail at knowledge of state of art) and to implement the MSBE methodology for test automation.
The expected results expected at the latest in January-February 2020 will be:
• design and implementation of the GATE4Rail simulation and verification infrastructure setting the interfaces among the different labs of the Consortium;
• implementation of the identified methodology for test automation, test update and automated evaluation of the test results;
• modelling error encountered at specific points of interests, such as tunnels and bridges, based on “Record&Replay” methodology and building error models based on data processing. Some specific types of environments are defined (urban, forest, open sky). The final objective is to synthetically generate and simulate these errors at the very top level of the chain (local and global hazards).
The expected impacts remain the same as highlighted in the DOW.
High Level Architecture of Gate4Rail Simulation and Verification Infrastructure
Gate4rail workflow methodology