Data fusion algorithms provide more advantages for ETCS

Brussels-based railway certification organisation Belgorail has approved the ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2. The latest standard was developed by Alstom and includes the usage of data fusion algorithms. As a result, the solution is able to measure the location and speed of trains more accurately.

Alstom will equip 450 trains in Norway with the Baseline 3 Release 2 solution by 2026. It is applicable to all types of trains and all environments, including the harshest weather conditions. The test operations of the first locomotive equipped with the new odometry system based on data fusion are scheduled for this summer. “In a decisive move towards digitalisation in rail, Norway has chosen to equip the whole country with the latest version of the European interoperability standard, demonstrating the country’s leading strategy for a greener future,” Rob Whyte, Managing Director Alstom Nordics, noted.

Data fusion

Currently, the external radar components are used for localisation and speed measurement of the trains. The usage of data fusion algorithms eliminates this need. Instead of this, Alstom’s solution includes the installation of both inertial and satellite sensors within the train. This approach makes the equipment unaffected by weather conditions. As a result, the new solution works well in covered areas, especially in the numeruos tunnels throught Norway.

Data fusion algorithms generate more accurate information about the train speed and location as they use data from inertial and satellite sensors. “Data fusion is the process of aggregating multiple data sources to produce more consistent, accurate, and useful information than that provided by any individual data source,” Alstom stated. Moreover, the latest standard includes higher radio capacity and other evolutions to better address railways needs.

1,100 trains

Alstom’s ETCS systems are based on its Atlas signalling solution, one of the most popular products of the French company. It was deployed in 30 countries. The trains equipped with the Atlas solution covered over 250 million kilometres, including the ICE3 high-speed fleet of Deutsche Bahn in Germany. Alstom has already secured orders to equip 9,000 trains with the Atlas solution. 1,100 vehicles of this amount will get the ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2. The Atlas system has several benefits: improved line capacity, service reliability, flexible and upgradeable design, compatibility with energy-saving driving profiles.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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