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Channel Models for Performance Evaluation of Wireless Systems in Railway Environments

Berbineau, M., Behaegel, R., Garcia-Loygorri, J.M., Torrego, R., D'Errico, R., Sabra, A., Yan, Y., Soler, J.

IEEE Access


In the automotive and rail domains, vehicles are entering the era of full automation thanks to wireless sensors and communication systems, shifting control functions from a human driver to computers. High data rate, robustness, high reliability and ultra-low latency wireless communications are required in the context of autonomous train and safety critical applications. Today, the Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) is under development at European level within the International Union of Railways (UIC). This system will answer all the current and future needs of rail. It will be IP based, multi-bearer and resilient to technology evolution. In the context of the development of different FRMCS prototypes by industry, it is crucial to be able to test them in representative Railway radio environments thanks to laboratory tools. Characterization of radio channels in railway environments, by measurements or simulations, is a very active field. In this article, based on broad literature survey, we show that not all the published models are suitable for performance evaluation. Then, we propose a selection of typical Tapped-Delay-Line channel models to be implemented in an original hardware and software testing platform capable to reproduce the effect of representative Railway environments in laboratory, with real time emulation at RF (Radio Frequency) level. Preliminary results in Hilly 3 taps and Cutting 5 taps channel models are presented as a proof of concept of a 'zero on site testing' approach, allowing for time and cost savings in the validation of railway communication systems.

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