Modular wireless trackside signalling system: towards Rail Internet of Things (RIoT)

Mendez Villalon, Armando (2020) Modular wireless trackside signalling system: towards Rail Internet of Things (RIoT). PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Railway operations are becoming increasingly automated and integrated through the use of Information and Communication Technology. Advance signalling systems efficiently handle the traffic among a railway network providing the ability to increase the population of rolling stock on the same track with a precise time slot for each of them, as well as diminishing risks by human error.

Recently, wireless signalling systems are being accepted as a feasible option to overcome wired infrastructure, aiming to create a cheaper system yet with a high level of reliability. Lower installation and maintenance costs would result in significant savings that could be passed on to the service provider and ultimately the users through a reduction in costs and travel time for passengers and freight transportation. However, there exist a greater number of variables to consider in order to have a stable communication link, such as weather conditions, terrain configuration, interference and noise.

Given the recent tendency of utilising decentralised networks and the use of Internet-of-Things (IoT), railway infrastructure manufactures are moving towards the development of a signalling network system to control and monitor railway traffic remotely and wirelessly, with the use of modular sensors, and sending the data through cloud computing systems. This is known as Rail Internet-of-Things (RIoT) due to its application for railway.

Candidate wireless systems were investigated, ZigBee was chosen and proven through this work to be robust within an increasingly complex environment and tested under extreme conditions in laboratory so as proofed against future sources of interference.

Motivated by this, in this work a ZigBee-protocol-based wireless signalling system is presented as an alternative to current infrastructure, that ultimately will require a less arduous implementation in terms of labour, and simultaneously being low cost whilst considering its performance within the complex environment found in and around rail infrastructure.

A portion of this work is dedicated to studying and implementing the set ups within laboratory facilities to recreate certain realistic environments given by the nature of the scenarios or by multiple sources of interference or noise, aiming to develop a benchmark for testing performance of wireless devices within a laboratory facility.

The complete system is demonstrated to operate within a real-world rail environment supporting observation on robustness seen in the laboratory-based scenarios. The rail tests along with meetings and demonstrations held with rail operators concluded that the wireless solution developed through this work to be a candidate for wide area signals control, but also for more localised applications in and around level crossing installations or applications requiring rapid deployment for example in and around rail works that require temporary or ad-hoc signalling to be deployed.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Greedy, Steve
Thomas, Dave W. P.
Keywords: Internet of things, Industrial applications; Wireless communication systems; Railroads, Management, Automation
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering > TK5101 Telecommunication
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
Item ID: 59892
Depositing User: Méndez Villalón, Armando
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2020 04:40
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2020 04:40

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