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Dev. Of monitoring system for smart train operation from ensuring safety operation to enhancing train sustainability

Development of a solution for safe train operation to contribute to a big picture of a smart city. Based on various sensors to collect different types of data and analyze them to predict and prevent accidents efficiently. Also, by enabling preventive maintenance, maximize the lifecycle of resources.

- Backgrounds As demands in trains as means of transportation continue to increase, the railway industry has a lot of work to improve operational safety and efficiency considering sustainability. Railcar and railroad inspection has played a large role in improving operational safety and efficiency, and it can further impact on maintenance of the parts and components and prevention of accidents. One or more defective railcar components can cause a train to stop on the line, which hampers operational efficiency and causes loss of opportunity costs. Defective rails have a great potential to disrupt safe operation or in worst cases, lead to massive disaster due to derailment. Harmful gas in cars can threaten passengers’ safety directly. As such, there are many challenges regarding safe and efficient train operation. However, current practices largely depend on the ability of a particular human inspector or an operator from overhauling components, checking indoor conditions of cars to identifying obstacles on the rail and so on. Therefore, it is crucial to develop a monitoring system that assists a human inspector or an operator to better perform their work and enhance sustainability. Monitoring measures are crucial to ensure safe and cost-effective train operation in the railroad industry. A well-designed monitoring system substantially reduces hardware maintenance cost and improves service quality and overall safety. Against this backdrop, this project will build a monitoring system involving motor state monitoring, axle state monitoring and air-condition monitoring, and help to operate trains in a more sustainable way. - Goals and benefits In order to make train operation more safe and sustainable, it is significant to start with monitoring railcars and rails and safety-related factors surrounding them to identify problems arising out of the operation. With the intention to increase sustainability of train operation in the long term, this project, ultimately aims to develop a monitoring system that assists to ensure safe operation of trains by monitoring state of motors, axles, and rails, car doors, occupancy of each car, harmful gas inside cars etc. By tapping into Big Data, we will find out dependencies and relationship of data collected through various sensors and this will give us a good opportunity to improve the reliability of the railways, minimise risks and reduce costs making the railway sector more competitive. There are three specific goals in developing the monitoring system: predictive identification of technical issues and preventive maintenance, assistance to safe train operation and support for passenger’s safety and convenience. First, it aims to predict technical issues related to safety of train operations such as defects in motors and axles or expected lifecycle of assets. This will help to manage parts and components of trains more efficiently by enabling preventive maintenance and avoiding accidents in advance. Second, this system will assist safe train operation by monitoring people on the rails, detecting state of doors (whether it closes correctly and safely and if there is any object between the door) and harmful gas inside cars. Third, it will support passenger to have safer and more comfortable and convenient travel experience by providing proper indoor temperature and information on occupancy of each car so that they can choose cars with more room. - Timeline This project is divided into a two-year plan, and this timeline is divided into three phases: Phase 1: Develop sensor devices and a system to send/receive, collect and save data. Phase 2: Based on collected data, to develop analysis tools and models to prevent accidents and enable preventive maintenance by adopting algorithms and machine learning technology. Phase 3: Complete construction of a prototype monitoring system The focus of the phase 1 is to develop various sensor devices to collect different types of data and create a system to monitor, collect and save those data. These sensors collect data on vibration, voltage and electric current, temperature, occupancy, inflow and outflow of passengers, temperature and humidity and harmful gas, geoposition etc. Based on these data collected, we will further analyze data to drive useful information to help to identify problems and develop analysis tools and models adopting algorithms, and establish a protype monitoring system to develop into a system that assists much safer and sustainable train operation when commercialising.
Acronym: 
SUSTAINABLESMARTRAIN
Project ID: 
11 736
Start date: 
01-09-2017
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
1 210 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Railway Transport technology
Market Area: 
Other Transportation

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