satellite train positioing

A consortium led by Austria’s Berner & Mattner Systemtechnik has been awarded a research project to study the use of satellite-supported technology in determining train positions.

Known as ‘DITPOS Rail: demonstrate the integrity of train positioning at the railway’, the project represents a part of the Austrian space application programme.

The project was awarded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transportation, Innovation, and Technology.

Berner & Mattner team lead Manfred Heidegger said: "DITPOS Rail is far more than a research project. Both in form and in content, it is orientated towards the requirements of an approval. By involving regional rail operators, such as Stern & Hafferl, we can ensure right from the offset that there will be a basis for later use in practice."

Teleconsult Austria and the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria have partnered with Berner & Mattner to work on preparing a solution for light rail and municipal public transit, which meets the safety and security requirements of rail technology.

"The development of a demonstrator will also allow the early evaluation of the target solution, regarding its functionality and added value for the future customer."

The new integrated positioning system will be based on a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) with a European geostationary navigation overlay service, which will be supplemented with information from autonomous vehicle sensors.

In order to meet the requirements of the reliability, accuracy, availability and integrity of position data, the DITPOS Rail project will involve the preparation of an integrity calculation algorithm as a safety concept, as well as the development of a functional demonstrator.

"The development of a demonstrator will also allow the early evaluation of the target solution, regarding its functionality and added value for the future customer," Heidegger added.

The project’s results will be used to develop products and services for future rail applications, such as the GNSS-controlled activation of rail crossings.


Image: An illustration of satellite-supported position determination of rail vehicles. Photo: courtesy of Berner & Mattner Systemtechnik.