DIGIRAIL IN THE PILOTING PHASE

WINTER TESTING ON RAILWAYS

In the Digirail project, the automatic train control system will be renewed. Finland’s current automatic train control system (JKV) is approaching the end of its life cycle. As part of that renovation process, a special subproject is exploring different techniques to determine the positions of trains more accurately.

HELP FROM ABOVE

Essential part of the future localization process is based on RTK-GNSS satellite positioning technology. It will give the system better accuracy than the current balise (aka marker) based approach. In this pilot, various systems can be tested onboard a locomotive, which is in active usage and traveling all over Finland. Extreme winter conditions will put the selected hardware and developed algorithms to the ultimate test.

FEATURE-BASED LOCALIZATION

However, in addition to RTK-GNSS, the locomotive needs some parallel localization methods to increase the reliability. Satellite positioning is not working properly in all conditions, like when the train goes into a long tunnel. GIM Robotics’ core competence is in feature-based localization, which relies heavily on various point-cloud producing sensors, like radars and LiDARs shown in the pictures attached to this Digirail news posting.

Finnish winter conditions will put the sensors to the ultimate test. Copyright (c) 2021 TimoH/Shutterstock.

TESTING ON AN ACTIVE LOCOMOTIVE

Long-term winter testing will give us valuable information about how our sensors are handling true Finnish winter weather including Arctic subzero temperatures and snowy conditions. It is really cold out there.

Read more from the ongoing Digirail winter testing here and more about our GNSS-free location solutions on railways here.

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