The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham is a group of over 130 academics, researchers, and professional support staff, who deliver world class research and thought leadership to the rail industry.
As part of its work on preparing for the Digital Railway of tomorrow, BCRRE staff investigate fundamental questions about the use of electronic information in the transport domain; from the collection and structured storage of raw data, through efficient processing and algorithms, to the secure delivery of appropriate information to staff in a timely manner. A key element of this work lies in the development of ontologies for the rail industry, and the BCRRE team are always looking for novel tools that can efficiently manage the ontology models, and help the team produce representative case studies for presentation to industry stakeholders.
Late in 2017, the BCRRE team chose to partner up with ERTMS Solutions and work with our ODASE platform. Under the partnership agreement, ERTMS Solutions have granted the University of Birmingham academic licenses to use the Odase platform, with the aim of increasing the impact of their research in the global railway industry.
ERTMS Solutions is specialized in the development of innovative products for the railway signaling world, and is the first company providing industrial-strength ontologies for the railway market, thanks to the ODASE platform.
The role of ontologies is to replace the complex web of end-to-end integrations commonly found in industrial ICT systems with interfaces based on a common understanding of the semantics of the underlying data, allowing customers to reduce total lifecycle integration costs and enjoy limitless extensibility. Ontologies act as a glue between the vertical railway solutions performing the essential business functions.
ODASE is the only all-in-one Ontology-centric development platform currently rolled out in the industry. It consists of:
a design-time interactive development environment, “ODASE Workbench”, to create, edit, test and explain rules conforming to the SWRL W3C standard;
a compile-time API generator making the ontology (OWL, RDF, SWRL) usable by software developers using Java or C#; and
a run-time environment, “ODASE Platform” to build and execute ontology-centric applications.
John Easton: “We are really looking forward to working with ERTMS Solutions and the Odase platform: the demonstrations we’ve received have convinced us of the potential benefits to the industry from the use of this tool. Our team has worked on the development of ontologies for many years now, and we’ve been waiting for a tool to be developed that made the work we’ve done at an academic level accessible to industry professionals.”
Stanislas Pinte, CEO ERTMS Solutions: “Partnering up with a prestigious university such as BCRRE, and be part of significant academic projects, is very valuable for ERTMS Solutions. It also confirmed that Ontologies are part of the railway IT landscape of tomorrow.”
ERTMS Solutions is glad to announce the signature of two brokerage agreements with Rail-Mil Computers and Theta International, respectively based in Poland and in Australia.
These new partnerships are a step further to deploy ERTMS Solutions’ activities in Eastern Europe and Oceanian markets. It will greatly benefit ERTMS Solutions’ local customers, who will interface with local partners, while enjoying ERTMS Solutions’ expertise. Brokers are indeed a first line support to the local customers, while ERTMS Solutions remains second line support.
Stanislas Pinte, CEO of ERTMS Solutions: “We really believe that Rail-Mil Computers and Theta International are excellent partners to support the development of ERTMS Solutions in Poland, Australia, and bordering countries markets such as Baltic countries or New Zealand. Our expansion is increasing, and we need solid partners to provide the best service to our clients.”
Michael Walsh, Managing Director of Theta International: “Theta International provides a conduit for ERTMS products and solutions into the Australian rail industry gained from twenty years of experience. The brokerage agreement provides the framework to work in a collative environment with potential rail clients to define and develop bespoke solutions to suit the significant environmental challenges of the Australian climate. ERTMS Solutions brings to the partnership a can-do attitude and energy ideally matched to Theta International depth of knowledge of the Australian and Asian rail markets. ERTMS Solutions designs and develops, Theta International connects the dots.
Theta International is a specialized Australian consulting company providing solutions to build profit, portfolio, and reputation. For over 23 years Theta International has been providing business advice to industry and government corporations in the engineering consulting, transportation, oil and gas, construction, and manufacturing sectors.
Rail-Mil Computers Sp. z o.o. Sp.k. is a Polish company operating mainly in the field of electronics and computer systems. The company focuses on offering complete innovative solutions based on hardware of its own production or purchased from reputable foreign partners. Experience of the company owners based on many years of work in the development and implementation of railway and military projects, naturally directs our activities to these market segments. In addition to its own solutions, Rail-Mil Computers also offers products of such manufacturers as ADLINK and APACER, as well as Red Hat, Windows or OS-9 software.
ERTMS Solutions is specialized in the development of innovative products for the railway signaling world, and for a majority of them, compatible with the European railway signalization standard ERTMS/ETCS.
In February 2016, Eurailscout Inspection & Analysis BV (The Netherlands) and Eurailscout France SAS (France) purchased one BaliseLifeCheck system featuring KER and Eurobalises diagnosis for their UFM160 (press release).
We are very glad to announce that The BaliseLifeCheck is now set up, and that a successful test has been done in France, in the area of Metz, where tracks are both equipped with Eurobalise and KER balises.
The UFM160 is equipped with the localization system “LocNG”, used by the SNCF Network in France. Switches and crocodile balises are detected to deliver real time positioning with all related information (mileage, line number, id-name) of these assets. The UFM160 can assign their precise location information to the French LocNG system. This way, all the measurements performed by the UFM160 can be geolocalized at the right position and include all the required information in the measurement report file.
ERTMS Solutions BaliseLifeCheck has been plugged to the LocNG to guarantee data correlation and respect required report formats. The integration tests have been successfully carried out in the area of Paris.
Jean-Michel Froment, Eurailscout France Deputy Director : “this system is very important for us to comply with our obligations towards SNCF Network and other infrastructure asset managers like OPERE (New high speed line Bretagne Pays de Loire). With the BLC interfacing LocNG, we can deliver for the first time in France, a complete and global maintenance information for Eurobalises and KER balises (KVB). This information can be used in network asset infrastructure databases for a long time. In the future, we hope to deliver predictive information after signals analyses to guarantee more safety in signaling maintenance”.
ERTMS Solutions’ “LifeCheck” product line is a preventive maintenance set of tools, which equips any type of trains, fitted or not with ETCS. It automates the track asset maintenance, enables to generate alarms, produces extremely detailed signal quality information and reports when it passes over a balise (eg. Eurobalises and KER) or any type of AC track circuit (eg. TVM430, TVM300), contact type (Crocodile) and magnetic signaling systems (AWS).
All networks that operate ETCS lines are starting to put in place systematic measurement of the Eurobalises, in order to maintain them in an effective way.
Nowadays, there are several tools available on the market to perform Eurobalise maintenance, but a vast majority of them follow a corrective approach, by identifying a fault only when it occurred, so that the failed equipment can be repaired or replaced.
Aware of the limitations of the these solutions, the ERTMS market started to ask for instruments specifically designed to automate Eurobalises measurements, by enabling preventive maintenance. These tools will need to measure information such as Subset-026 telegram content, Balise ID, contact length, telegram count and power lobe, but should also measure all the parameters that fully characterize Eurobalises, so that no issue of the Eurobalise can go unnoticed.
Using these parameters (listed in the Eurobalise protocol specification, Subset-036) and verifying if they are within the permissive ranges, will provide a higher level of resolution to calculate the health state of a balise.
The BaliseLifeCheck is the only tool able to produce extremely detailed signal quality information when it passes over a Eurobalise, by measuring all possible indicators defined in Subset-036.
Furthermore, it is able to detect and analyse the status of legacy balises too, with the same high resolution level.
Although no predictive algorithms exist yet, this approach provides insurance that such algorithms can be developed and integrated in the next future.
Click on the image below to download the full white paper in PDF format.
We will present our LifeCheck product line (BaliseLifeCheck and TVMLifeCheck), a preventive maintenance set of tools, which equips any type of trains, fitted or not with ETCS. It automates the track asset maintenance; it enables to generate alarms and produce extremely detailed signal quality information and reports when it passes over a balise (eg. Eurobalises) or any types of track circuits (eg. TVM430).