5A Virtual Laboratory as an Assessment Tool for Wireless Technologies in Railway Systems

The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is now an international reference standard for railway signaling. Its deployment in Europe will be long and expensive; thus, the industry needs faster rollout and a reduction in cost in order to obtain the certification and authorization to put equipment into service. Most of the proposed lab-testing tools for ERTMS evaluation have focused mainly on its functional subsystem, the European Train Control System (ETCS). The related test scenarios and simulators have been developed while assuming an ideal telecommunication subsystem. On the contrary, wireless technologies suitable for supporting communications in railway systems have been evaluated only on the basis of the key performance indicators expected for ERTMS signaling applications. Most of the evaluations in the literature have considered only the performance evaluation of the wireless technology itself, using a network simulator, and without taking into account effective train traffic scenarios and the related ETCS feedback. This chapter presents a virtual laboratory based on co-simulation and relying on two existing tools: an ERTMS simulator implementing the functional subsystem (ETCS) and an OPNET simulator that allows us to model the whole telecommunication subsystem, namely the GSM-R (Global System for Mobile Communications – Railways). First, the virtual laboratory architecture ...

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