Digital Track Map Generation for Safety-Critical Railway Applications

Wei-Jie Tao, Bai-Gen Cai, Jian Wang, Jiang Liu, Wei Shang-guan

Abstract: GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) has been effectively used in civil aviation, maritime transportation as well as other fields due to its stability, convenience, and high accuracy. Different from other land-based application, railway transportation is relatively fixed on rail tracks. This makes digital track map a vital basis for introducing GNSS into railways. First of all, the digital track map provides the representation of both geometry and topology of the railway tracks. Also, it creates the connection between three-dimensional position coordinates and one-dimension track-defined location for the train. SIS (Signal in Space) unavailability and multipath problem often challenges GNSS-based train positioning because of the environment diversity (such as canyon, bridge, mountain and so on) along the track. However, the digital track map can be integrated as an assistance for train location determination system, which can greatly improve the performance in terms of availability, accuracy and integrity. The digital track map is divided into two parts in this paper: geometry structure and topology structure, and the requirements of each part is analyzed. The horizontal geometry of a rail track is usually consisted of three segments: straight lines, circular curves and transition curves, where cubic parabola or clothoid is frequently used. The topological railway network represents the topological connections such as signaling, switch and block design, which are important elements in train control system. In this paper we propose a method to identify mainline track geometry, then different approximation methods are adopted to present different segments of the track, which makes a better description of track instead of many consecutive points only. Then the points-of-interest (POIs) and sidings are added as topological information of the railway network. Furthermore, the evaluation of the geometry and topology of the generated track map is detailed afterwards. Finally, the field data in real railway line is used to generate the digital track map and the result shows the proposed method can effectively identify the mainline geometry and present the topology network correctly without too much storage.
Published in: Proceedings of the 30th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2017)
September 25 - 29, 2017
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 1978 - 1987
Cite this article: Tao, Wei-Jie, Cai, Bai-Gen, Wang, Jian, Liu, Jiang, Shang-guan, Wei, "Digital Track Map Generation for Safety-Critical Railway Applications," Proceedings of the 30th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2017), Portland, Oregon, September 2017, pp. 1978-1987.
Full Paper: ION Members/Non-Members: 1 Download Credit
Sign In