At Ansaldo STS “Innovation” (see “Innovation governance scheme”) also means participating in research projects funded by the European Commission, the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, the Ministry for Economic Development and the Ministry of the Environment.

With regard to European research, the “Shft2Rail” project began in the latter part of 2016, and its main goals are:

  • efficient and eco-friendly railway transportation;
  • better mobility and reduced traffic congestion;
  • more safety and security;
  • activities focused on social-economic improvement.

A challenge for “smart, green & integrated” transport.

Ansaldo STS is a founding member of this “joint undertaking” involving another 7 founding members, 12 associates and 32 member states of the European Union for a total investment of approximately €450 million.

European research projects

In 2016, Ansaldo STS was involved in the following projects funded by the European Commission:

  • NGTC, Next Generation Train Control), to develop future railway and metro traffic control systems, in which Ansaldo STS played a leading role in the satellite positioning work package;
  • MANTIS, funded by the ECSEL Joint Undertaking (public-private party that disburses European Commission funds for innovating embedded systems) and by the Ministry of Research, whose goal is to increase knowledge of the decision-making process for the railway system maintenance stage;
  • IN2RAIL, in connection with the Shift2Rail initiative; the project goal is to optimize the railway infrastructure by cutting its construction and maintenance costs and increasing its capacity.

Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU) projects

The SHIFT2RAIL JU public-private partnership kicked off in 2016, with the following projects initiated during the latter part of the year:

  • CONNECTA, CONtributing to Shift2Rail’s NExt generation of high Capable and safe TCMS and brAkes, which sets out to contribute to the next generation of TCMS architectures and components with wireless function, as well as to the upcoming generation of electronic braking systems;
  • X2RAIL1, X2RAIL1, Start-up “Activities for Advanced Signaling and Automation System”, whose goal is to meet the long-term requirements of a future flexible and
  • ATTRACTIVE, Advanced Travel Companion & Tracking Services, whose purpose is to improve the travel experience of passengers who use railway transportation systems by developing an integrated solution;
  • FR8RAIL, Development of functional requirements for sustainable and attractive European rail freight, intended to take on the major challenges for developing sustainable and attractive rail freight traffic in Europe;
  • PLASA,Smart Planning and Safety for a safer and more robust European railway sector, whose objective is to augment the customer’s experience and the robustness of the system in the European railway sector. On the one hand, the objectives are to improve the planning activities of the various railway system operators through railway simulation and, on the other, to provide a methodology for managing railway system safety based on risk assessment;
  • IMPACT1, Indicator Monitoring for a new railway PAradigm in seamlessly integrated Cross modal Transport chains – Phase 1, to create an integrated sub-system in order to represent all Shift2Rail innovations;
  • ARCC, Start-up activities for freight automation that basically deals with freight traffic issues.

Lastly, the first activities pertaining to IP2 got under way in 2016. IP2 concerns introduction of innovative systems to the traffic signaling and management area.

Satellite technology projects

The satellite technology projects funded by the European Union are listed below.

First and foremost there is ERSAT EAV, of which Ansaldo STS is project coordinator. Its objective is to adopt and characterize the satellite technologies in the railway signaling context, with particular reference to checking the suitability of EGNSS/EGNOS technology and of the new Galileo services to be used in ERTMS signaling. As part of the ERSAT EAV project, definition of new GNSS algorithms capable of using Signal In Space of the GPS, EGNOS and Galileo constellations was completed in the first half of 2016. Preliminary verifications of their proper behavior were also made, and confirmed the correctness of the Open and Modular Architecture of the Ansaldo STS Augmentation System. Afterwards, demonstrations of the proper functioning of the trial site in Sardinia were presented at national workshops.

GSA Horizon H2020 Research Program

In 2016, the activities pertaining to the STARS and RHINOS projects part of the GSA Horizon H2020 Research Program commenced.

With regard to the STARS project, important research activities were carried out during the first half of 2016. They concerned definition of the methodology and tools required to calculate the Ground Truth (temporal and spatial reference) for which performance measurements can later be made. Measurement activities were also conducted at the Sardinia trial site with the aim of acquiring Signal In Space (RF signal) and Observation data regarding GPS, EGNOS and Galileo in different railway environmental conditions.

As for the RHINOS project, definition of a functional architecture of an ERTMS system based on future satellite technology fit to meet strict requisites such as track discrimination, high availability and integrity was completed during the first half of 2016.

Italian research projects

With respect to national research, Ansaldo STS participates in the Liguria Region’s “Technologically Integrated Intelligent Systems” district, and in DATTILO (High- Tech Transport and Logistics District) and the TOP IN laboratory (Innovative Optical-electronic Technologies) in Campania. In addition, Ansaldo STS participates in the “Embedded” and “INSIST” university/company networks for excellence, which concern themselves with ICT, energy and transport issues.

As regards the funded projects in progress, the following is reported:

  • Tesys Rail, whose goal is to define expedient strategies for railway traffic energy optimization.
  • The following PON3 projects through the DATTILO (High-Tech Transport and Logistics District) in Campania and the TOP IN laboratory (Innovative Opticalelectronic Technologies) in Campania:
    • the MODISTA project that deals with innovative solutions for remote monitoring and preventive diagnostics of infrastructures and fleets of vehicles in order to raise the availability, efficiency and safety levels;
    • the OPTOFER project that covers application of the innovative optical-electronic technologies for railway infrastructure monitoring and diagnostics;
    • the FERSAT project that studies a railway signaling system suitable for urban environments based on the innovative use of satellite technologies and their integration with existing technologies;
    • the NEMBO project that studies and tests embedded highly efficient innovative systems for railway applications.