Iris4Rail - Iris for Railway Communications

Search form

 

The Iris for Railway Communications study aims to perform a suitability assessment of the Iris service solution, specifically defined for the aeronautics domain, in the railway operational scenario.The Iris for Railway Communications study aims to perform an assessment of the suitability of the Iris service solution (https://artes.esa.int/iris/overview), specifically defined for the aeronautics domain, in the railway operational scenario.

To this aim, the  following key objectives are identified: 

  1. Identification of the technical requirements and architecture of a satcom based solution (space, ground and user segment) to be used in the FRMCS bearer flexible scenario;
  2. Development of a railway traffic dimensioning tool to allow the estimation of communication traffic requirements in input to Iris for rail satellite system;
  3. Suitability assessment of the Iris system for the proposed solution;
  4. Suitability assessment of the Iris service provision concept for the railway environment;
  5. Definition of a roadmap of development and testing in line with ERA program and taking into account the necessary homologation/certification steps;
  6. Target cost estimation of the proposed solution;
  7. Dissemination of the results.

The Study started in April 2018, for a duration of 9 months.

The industrial consortium is composed of Thales Alenia Space in Italy as prime and Indra Sistemas.

Benefits

The European Commission has highlighted the risk of obsolescence and saturation of the current terrestrial railway communication system (GSM-R) by 2030. The Future Rail Mobile Communications System (FRMCS) and the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) programmes have the objective of identifying solutions for a successor of GSM-R, and ERA “Study on feasibility of SatCom for railway communication” has analysed several SatCom system solutions with the outcome that there is no currently deployed SatCom system meeting all the simultaneous criteria for railway safety applications (i.e. critical).

Among the planned systems, the Iris FOC (Full Operational Capability) is a candidate solution to complement existing and planned terrestrial communication systems for rail, and is the best positioned to meet the criteria for critical applications.

Extending the scope of  Iris service can provide as major benefit an extended set of end-users with the same service infrastructure.

Features

The satellite communication system is part of a wider railway communication system composed of a terrestrial and a satellite component.

 
Iris4Rail Communications System Architecture (terrestrial + satellite)

The main functionalities are distributed among the different domains of the Iris for Railway communication operational scenario.

 

Main Functionalities apportionment to Iris4Rail Communication Domains


The service scenarios are defined according to FRMCS User Requirements Specification where two different typologies of area of operation are considered:

  • Station: Railway station with platforms. This area of operation can be linked the to the stations or shunting areas scenario.
  • Line: Railway track between two stations. This area of operation includes the Low Density, High Density and High Speed sub-scenarios.

The considered applications are categorised as follows:

  • Critical (e.g. railway emergency, ATC) – including all the applications necessary for the train movement and safety or legal obligations;
  • Performance (e.g. telemetry, video surveillance) – including those applications that help the performance improvement of railway operations.

Business applications (e.g. internet in trains for passengers) are out of the scope.

A traffic capacity analysis is performed, through the development of a Railway Traffic Dimensioning tool providing an instrument for the estimation of the railway data traffic to be supported by SatCom, generated by a single railway user and aggregated for a customisable region.

The analysis scenarios take into account FRMCS User Requirements and the outcomes of the Satcom for Railway Technical Requirements defined in the first phase of the Study (Requirements Review).

A detailed suitability analysis of the Iris system with respect to the following technical aspects is performed:

  • Iris air interface in railway propagation channel;
  • Impact of GEO delays w.r.t. QoS requirements;
  • Multi Access Core Network and integration with FRMCS;
  • L2 handover analysis;
  • Upper layer optimization;
  • System Failure Analysis.

Downstream from this suitability analysis, the gaps and issues are identified and a preliminary technological roadmap is defined.

The complete stream of activities foreseen in the Study is:

  • Requirements state of art critical analysis;
  • Technical requirements definition;
  • Definition of the system architecture of a satcom based solution (space, ground and user segment) to be used in the FRMCS bearer flexible scenario;
  • Definition of the operational scenarios;
  • Development of a railway traffic dimensioning tool to allow the estimation of communication traffic requirements in input to Iris for rail satellite system;
  • Iris system suitability analysis;
  • Identification of the system gaps based on the suitability analyses;
  • Definition of a preliminary technological roadmap;
  • Preliminary viability analysis;
  • Results dissemination and liaison with standardization groups.

Current Status

The Study started in April 2018 and is now approaching the second milestone (Suitability Review).

The activities performed so far are related to:

  • The review and consolidation of system technical requirements, with the identification of the quantitative figures for the selected criteria and a preliminary assessment against the planned Iris system. The first review (Requirements Review) was held in July 2018.
  • The team has also presented to the ETSI Workshop "Developing the Future Radio for Rail Transport", 4-5 July 2018, ETSI, Sophia Antipolis, France, as a first dissemination step and as a starting point for the liaison with standardization groups, stakeholders and users.
  • The Suitability Review process is ongoing, covering the following tasks:
    • Definition of the system architecture and operational scenarios;
    • Development of a railway traffic dimensioning tool;
    • Iris system suitability analysis;
    • Identification of the system gaps based on the suitability analyses listed in the previous point;
    • Definition of a preliminary technological roadmap of development and testing based on the outcomes of the gap analysis.

The Final Review is planned for February 2019.

Prime Contractor

Subcontractor

Indra
Spain

Project Managers

Contractor Project Manager

Alessia Miglietta
Address Via Saccomuro 24, Rome Italy
00100 Rome RM
Italy

ESA Project Manager

Michele Castorina
Netherlands

Status Date

13 December 2018 - Created: 11 October 2018