Prof. Uwe Götze & Sören Claus
Smart Rail Connectivity-Campus - Innovations for Digital Train Control Systems
Smart Rail Connectivity-Campus is intended to enable innovations for digital train control systems and to foster the innovation potential of the region around Annaberg-Buchholz. On the one hand, the motivation for establishing the campus results from the strong influence of the passenger and freight traffic sector on economic, ecological and social sustainability and the corresponding need for innovations to reduce environmental impacts and to improve social utility as well as economic competitiveness. On the other hand, the Campus shall enhance dormant innovation potentials in the region by providing small and medium-sized enterprises access to R&D competencies and results and by building up an innovation network. In this regard, the campus concept follows the basic ideas of the BMBF’s WIR! („Wachstum durch Innovation in der Region“) funding program .
The campus project has been initiated by the City of Annaberg-Buchholz, Chemnitz University of Technology and Deutsche Bahn RegioNetz as well as Deutsche Bahn Netz AG and is supported by a couple of noteworthy partners such as Siemens AG, Eisenbahnbundesamt, DLR, TU Dresden, Fraunhofer IVI and Mugler AG. It benefits from some unique characteristics, such as a spacious test track with real life conditions, Europe’s first digital railway control center having been installed in Annaberg-Buchholz, a variety of previous innovation projects and their available results, a strong regional R&D competence base in Saxony as well as a network of trustfully cooperating partners. These unique potentials will be utilized for establishing a “Living Lab“ in which railway-related inventions can be created, tested, evaluated and further developed up to successful innovations. In the ongoing concept phase, the project is supported by funds from the Wir! Program until October 2018. With the results of the concept phase, the partners will apply for the implementation phase with an extended funding by the WIR program.
The innovation field addressed by the Campus project comprises the hybridization of diesel railcars as well as different facets of the digitalization of railway traffic systems. The most important hybridization project concerns retrofitting diesel railcars of type VT 642 to a hybrid train (the “EcoTrain“) with several R&D and subsequent manufacturing activities. In the field of digitalization, a couple of interrelated topics are covered for proceeding on the way towards highly or even fully automated and interconnected rail traffic systems:
- Driving assistance systems and their further development to highly/fully automated driving
- Automated monitoring of rail track fields
- Safe positioning based on EGNSS, ERSAT and FOS technologies
- Direct short-range communication between train and infrastructure based on the IEEE 802.11p standard as well as cellular communication, in particular 5G