Below are the main activities developed:

Existing research projects financed:

In March 2011 a project was presented by Ansaldo STS, leading company, and two Ligurian SMEs grouped in a Temporary Business Grouping. The project is funded through the regional operational programme of the Liguria Region with the objective of designing and constructing a stereoscopic system for railway and metropolitan safety applications.

  • The projects of the Ministry of Productive Activities (bid Industria 2015, Sustainable Mobility) continued:
    • SISTEMA -project presented by the RINA – Grimaldi Armatori where Ansaldo STS performs an activity relating to the railway handling inside ports;
    • SLIMPORT - Extended port – project presented by Elsag Datamat (now Selex-Elsag) for which Ansaldo STS is coordinator of the Slim Rail Sub-project, study of a container transfer system on track linking the and the cargo storage area.
  • various projects were presented in relation with the bid under the national operational programmes using the funds intended for the Campania Region: The three projects below achieved the score necessary for being eligible for funding. The implementation decree is expected soon.
    • Secur ferr, Tecnologie innovative per la SICURezza della circolazione dei veicoli FERroviari (Innovative Technologies for the Safety of the Circulation of Railway Vehicles). Ansaldo STS S.p.A. coordinates a number of entities (small and large enterprises, universities and railway companies) which presented a co-financing application for an R&D project on monitoring railway infrastructures in order to increase safety and security levels and to make maintenance activities more efficient. Partners include RFI and Circumvesuviana.
    • “Digital pattern development” - The project, coordinated by ELASIS (Fiat Group) relates to the implementation of an IT environment supporting the designing and production of systems and components for road and railway transport. VERO (Virtual Engineering for Railways and automotive) relates to the construction of a simulator for signalling systems aimed at giving the project designer the possibility to consider the best solution in terms of performance and size, depending on the application of such systems on a specific line.

 Activities continued on these projects:

  • INESS Integrated European Signalling System, with the aim of standardising train handling systems inside the station;
  • CESAR (Cost-efficient methods and processes for safety relevant embedded systems). The project, submitted together with other Finmeccanica companies, Siemens and CRF, involves Ansaldo for V&V innovative systems (Verification & Validation);
  • ERRAC Roadmap – defines the priority issues for railway transportation;
  • PROTECTRAIL, The Railway-Industry Partnership for Integrated Security of Rail Transport, where Ansaldo STS S.p.A. is the coordinator of a group also including Selex-Elsag, with the objective of developing an integrated system to improve the safety of rail transport consistently with the European systems;
  • ALARP - A railway automatic track warning system based on distributed personal mobile terminals. The objective of the project is to develop an innovative railway automatic track warning system in order to improve the safety of workers;
  • GAL+ (GNSS Application on Lines for Performance of Low Traffic and GAL+ Upgraded Safety) where the main objective is to develop innovative SoL (Safety Of Life) EGNOS and GALILEO solutions for the LTL (Low Traffic Line) segment. Ansaldo STS is following the realisation of the prototype using French, Italian and Spanish resources.

Always in Europe, the negotiation of the Sicured (“Secured Urban Transportation - European Demonstration”) project was completed; this project’s objective is to study a risk assessment approach and to develop, integrate, and make interoperable the relevant tools to be used in the future by public transport operators in medium/large cities for proposing demonstrators in large cities (Milan, Paris, Berlin, Madrid). Thales is the project leader, and Ansaldo STS is in charge of the “Milan” sub-project, in which ATM and Ferrovie Nord are taking part.

Negotiations are under way for the SATLOC project for the use of satellites for train localisation as part of innovative signalling systems for regional railways.

Regarding self-financed projects
Activities for the Multi-function Portal were completed, and RFI prequalification is under way. As part of the follow-up of portal activities, a rolling stock recognition module was developed and an order by RFI is being finalised.
The dynamic weighting system based on FBG optical technology with a pilot system installed at the exit of the Marcianise goods yard. The results achieved were satisfactory.

Wayside Interlockin

  • New Generation QMR: After the QMR was applied to the ACS equipment in Pisa, developments are under way that are necessary for the new architectures required by RFI, with the possibility of centralising the MMI, with safe commands, also for power relay devices (“electronic hat”), the handling of failures using peripheral logics, high–speed centre-periphery communications on open networks, centre-periphery direct connections, without using the area controller. In particular, the new Wayside Standard Platform is at an advanced stage of development and the first in-house certification activities are about to start.
  • New generation of the Field Controller Unit (FCU): new I/O for ACC equipment and integration of the new 2oo2 for the new FCU family.
  • Integration of new 2oo2 CPU for Interloking of the MICROLOK II type (first phase for mass transit applications in China; then fw extension to manage the remaining I/O boards of the Microlok family with the new “2oo2” board).

Wayside Train Separation

  • RBC:
    • -The evolution of the demand for the ERTMS system, also outside of Europe, highlighted the need for increasingly modular designing/configuration and simulation instruments for the RBC product. The first phase of analysis ended and some tools were realised:
      • Simulators interfacing the real RBC system with the IOP European simulation system;
      • Configuration systems for logic debug;
      • Designing instruments for the automated preparation of cenelec-compliant documentation (at the prototype stage).
      • In particular, the German, Chinese and Swedish markets highlighted new needs linked to specific functionalities of the operator interface; these changed the basic RBC components regarding “heavy” controls. The implementation of the safe control procedure, with the elimination of the heavy keyboard is completed and is now at the validation stage;
      • Studies continued for the upgrade of software for Level 3 implementation, and the functional requisites in accordance with the SRS of UNISIG baselines 3 also commenced;
      • Software upgrade for the Subset039 (HO) implementation was developed and certification activities are under way;
      • 3rd-generation RBC studies continue for the optimisation of costs to be achieved by reducing the number of cabinets and boards, with the possibility of further increasing service (up to 120 trains), as long-distance interfacing (periphery connection on open networks).
      • The upgrade of the GSM/R radio interface also commenced, also in relation with GPRS communications; a feasibility study is also under way in order that the new interlocking WSP may be used for RBC as well;
      • Definition of the architecture of the PTC central post derived from the WSP, including the integration of interlocking device logics with spacing (and supervision) logics;
      • Study of satellite application to railway and security, including the definition of the LDS (satellite localization) onboard system.
  • Standard BALISE:
    • In order for the balise to be programmed without being removed from the sleeper, a specific logic was designed so that it can be programmed via Air-Gap.
  • Reduced-size BALISE:
    • project documents were completed;
    • the first via air-gap programming prototypes were built, and will be installed soon for the necessary experimental tests;
    • the first programming units for the balise are available.
    • With regard to the radio infill Line equipment a prototype was realised and experimented and tests preliminary to type tests are now being assessed. All the requirements currently stabilised by RFI were met.  The product documentation is being completed. The antennas/filters set for line equipment is now being studied in order to find a solution that is optimised for installation;
    • the completion of this development remains subject to RFI’s confirmation of its actual need for the radio infill product (at the moment this confirmation has not arrived yet).
    • the development of the prototype was completed with a configuration that is suitable to the POS project in Germany supplemented by a new acquisition module necessary for its application in Romania;
    • type tests were successfully run on this prototype;
    • radiated and driven EMC stress tests were successfully run;
    • Verification and Validation activities are under way;
    • The Tito plant manufactured the first pre-series samples in order to check that serial production can be carried out properly;
    • field tests in Romania are continuing (the system is expected to be released by the end of 2011).
    • Lds general product certification activities are under way and are expected to end by the end of 2011.
  • WIU:
    • Peripheral interfaces for PTC systems (USA), with use of WIU (both standalone and Microlok-integrated).
  • CBTC:
    • activities are under way for the integration of the wayside and onboard system, including the core and non-core components, with the global optimisation of the development expertise which, stretched over several geographical locations, are now managed at a central level and are co-ordinated at a global level;
    • integration tests for the zone controller and carborne controller software are continuing;
    • the IXL static upgrade is continuing using CBTC requirements;
    • the simulation system for CBTC (wayside/onboard) integrated tests was developed.
    • the integration and upgrade of the ATS supervisory system are under way in relation with the moving block requirements operated using the CBTC mode;
    • the use of the eurobalise beacon was defined as a standard “tag” for CBTC applications;
    • activities are under way for upgrading the CBTC system from the driver mode to the driverless mode (functional and non-functional requirements are being prepared);
    • an analysis is being run on the possibility to develop the CBTC system without train detection systems;
    • TOD: Man-machine interface for CBTC onboard equipment: the first version of the ToD (touch screen) was released in relation with the system requirements that are currently available.
    • a feasibility study was initiated in order to align the use of the new WSP also with the wayside portion of the CBTC defined as “zone controller”.

On board:

  • Improvements to the odometric algorithm were identified and (ongoing) development requirements were defined for a new odometry system to be used on both the CPU2 and the DIVA platforms.
  • The development of a new BTM (acquisition of a balise) continued (both integrated and standalone);
  • Release 2.3.0.d of SRS ERTMS on DIVA is being enhanced, with the utmost possible optimisation of logic 2.3.0.d (sw4.0) for which the safety case was released in Italy and certification from RFI is pending;
  • Standardisation activities are under way for “buy” components of the DMI, JRU and MT type.

Ground equipment:

  • The specification for the functional and non-functional requirements is being defined for an audio-frequency track circuit, named “Universal track circuit” (EVO) to work on both the “high” and the “low” audio-frequency band and to modulate train inbound message coding in both ASK and FSK mode.
  • High and Low LED Signals: Development activities are under way for (High and Low) LED signals for the Italian and the foreign markets. In particular, led solutions were identified for both dichroic mirror signals and self-contained signal units, with the cooperation of external companies (especially as regards the mechanical part of the signal), combined with filters and serial interfaces with interlocking devices. Tests and assessments are being carried out by RFI.

At 30 June 2011, research and development costs were EUR 19,880 thousand, up from EUR 18,077 thousand at 30 June 2010.

The activities undertaken by the Signalling Business Unit, totalling EUR 18,928 thousand (EUR 16,727 thousand in the first half 2010) or 95% of total spending, mainly related to the following companies (figures in thousands of euros):

  • Ansaldo STS SpA:           9,696                                     
  • Ansaldo STS France:       6,568                                   
  • Ansaldo STS USA :          2,614                                         

The activities undertaken by the Transportation Solutions Business Unit amounted to EUR 952 thousand, a slight decrease over 30 June 2010 (EUR 1,350 thousand).

R&D costs at 30 June 2011-2010 by Business Unit (thousands of euros)

R&D costs at 30 June 2011-2010 by Business Unit (thousands of euros)