The EATS Project, funded through the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) of the European Commission, aimed to investigate in two research lines: ETCS on-board unit laboratory testing by means of a virtual laboratory (EATS_LAB); and on-board positioning based on GNSS by means of the EATS_STPS (Smart Train Positioning System). The workshops will present the results achieved by this project
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Currently European Train Control System (ETCS) rollout is a major concern for train manufacturers and railway infrastructure managers. Equipment for ETCS level 1 and 2 typically follows a long process before being put into service due to two main reasons. First, there are interpretation variations in the specification of the systems' behaviour. And second, available laboratory certification procedures do not completely address all the needs of the system and require long and expensive field-testing. On the other hand, migration from ETCS level 2 to level 3, which maximizes the railway efficiency, has not been yet foreseen due to the technical constraints that current GNSS solutions, based on GPS and EGNOS, can not overcome.
In this context, EATS project has the objective to address the two previously described situations. On one hand, it will progress beyond the state of the art providing a model of the complete on-board ERTMS system behaviour to eliminate interpretation differences, and will include in the laboratory new tools to include the dynamic behaviour of the wireless interfaces and fault injection techniques in the external and internal interfaces for the safety assessment. This will lead to reduced laboratory and field-testing certification process time and cost. In the current economic situation, this is crucial in order to keep the ETCS deployment speed.
On the other hand, EATS will focus on the specific problem that is limiting the migration from ETCS level 2 to level 3. That is to say, EATS will propose a novel positioning system based on the combination of different techniques proved useful for other industrial sectors (multi-antenna assembly to reduce multi-path effects, combination of information sources such as GNSS, UMTS and GSM-R). Additionally, EATS will exploit unique features of the railway (1D problem) and the train (several receivers with known spatial separation to provide weighted positioning correction). Moreover, RAMS analysis to study the feasibility of the technical solution in the railway context and laboratory testing are foreseen to verify the proposed technical solution. This will be a step forward towards ETCS level 3 that minimizes trackside costs and maximizes track capacity.
The dissemination of the project outcomes is the ultimate objective. The consortium is clearly concerned about the return to the society of the funding obtained for this project. Therefore, in order to spread the knowledge acquired during the project, a set of concrete, quantitative and customized activities that involve all the actors in the society are planned. By means of the a web site with an open forum, the project will disseminate the information at world wide level, 2 workshops will present the results to the railway industry and specific tasks assigned to contribute to industrial standards will help to harmonize the railway sector. In addition, with the double objective of disseminating the outcomes of the project and being exposed to different points of view, meetings with an Advisory Board will be held during the complete duration of the project. Regarding the scientific community, 8 contributions to technical journals/congresses are foreseen. Regarding the future labour force that will give competitiveness to Europe, it is worthwhile to mention that two courses for engineering students and professionals are planned.