ERSAT EAV: satellite technology tests for regional railway traffic have been concluded

Maurizio Gentile (RFI), Carlo des Dorides (GSA), Joseph Doppelbauer (EUAR), Jean-Pierre Loubinoux (UIC) were present

Cagliari, 24th February 2017

The ERSAT EAV tests on satellite technology for safely controlling and managing railway traffic on conventional secondary, local and regional lines ended in Sardinia.

The last test journey between Cagliari and Decimomannu (Cagliari – San Gavino line), where the test centre is located, was made today.

The train passengers were the top people of the European railway and satellite navigation agencies.

The scope of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana is to homologate and certify the new technology according to the standards dictated by EUAR at European level, and ANSF at national level, activating the first Italian line within 2020.

The new ERSAT EAV system was illustrated by Maurizio Gentile, CEO and Managing Director of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), to Carlo des Dorides, director of the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA), Joseph Doppelbauer, director of the European Union Agency for Railways (EUAR) and Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, director of Union internationale des chemins de fer (UIC). 
Engineers and specialist technicians from Ansaldo STS (a Hitachi Group Company) and Trenitalia, the project partner, were also present.

ERSAT EAV, the first case in Europe, integrates the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) with GALILEO, the navigation and satellite location system, and the public telecommunications networks.

The new technology uses satellite to localise the trains, and it interfaces with ERTMS, a system that supervises railway traffic. The land/train dialogue (data and information) is possible thanks to the devices installed on-board the train and the base radios positioned along the railway path.

In the future, the system can be installed along around 28,000 km of European railway line, finding application also with railways that have operating licenses.

Indeed, thanks to satellite geolocation and communication on public networks, installation and management costs are reduced, making the regional lines with less traffic economically sustainable, and increasing the regularity, punctuality and safety of railway traffic.

Started in 2012, thanks to the contribution of the Italian and European Space Agencies and of GSA, the technological platform is the result of the collaboration between RFI and Ansaldo STS – the first company in the world to put the ERTMS SIL 4 railway signal integrated with satellite localisation into service on a freight railway line.

Ansaldo STS contributed in defining the requirements for supporting the integration between satellites and public radio communication networks. In addition, it created the site in Sardinia where it tested the technology used for the Roy Hill Iron Ore project in western Australia.

The application of satellite navigation systems in the railway sector is growing strongly, with the purpose of strengthening the competitivity and sustainability of the railway sector.

GSA is working to integrate the existing satellite navigation technologies – in particular GALILEO and EGNOS – with the railway traffic signalling and control systems, increasing safety and communication between the train and the technology present on the network.