With the smartrail 4.0 programme, the SBB has launched an innovation programme unlike anything that has ever been seen before. Together with other railway operators, digitalisation and the potential of new technologies are to be exploited in order to further increase capacity and safety and to make more efficient use of the railway infrastructure. Together with Schweizer Electronic AG, Paranor was able to secure the contract for a project as part of this programme.
Reference project: New project for SBB
The AWAP-Light project is part of the smartrail 4.0 programme, and its goal is to automate the warning processes for work in the track area. To achieve this, AWAP-Light is divided into three central system components: MWS (mobile warning systems), detection points and AWAP-SW (AWAP software).
Together with Schweizer Electronic AG, Paranor was awarded the contract for the AWAP-SW after a proof-of-concept phase. The software consists of a SIL-2 core that needs to be certified and three higher-level business applications. The SIL-2 core is being developed in accordance with CENELEC standards for railway applications (DIN EN 50126, 50128, 50129) and is responsible for triggering the correct warnings to the mobile warning systems. Of course, this part of the software needs to be safe enough to ensure that no human lives are endangered.
To be able to plan the working areas and warning areas and to keep a clear overview of the system status of AWAP-Light at all times, three business applications are required. These business applications are web applications and are being built by Paranor, as is the central database in which all data is saved.
Although “only” the safe SIL-2 core needs to be certified in accordance with CENELEC standards, the entire system operates in a safety-related environment. Because of the technologies required, the business applications and the database cannot be certified. For this reason, the interplay between business applications and safe SIL-2 core utilises technical components such as encryption, checksums and Merkle trees (a basis of blockchain) and the software supports review and release processes in order to ensure the integrity of the data.
The project was launched in mid-2018 with a proof-of-concept, and the actual software development commenced at the start of 2019. This phase will last until mid-2020, when it will be followed by field testing, type approval and track trials. The rollout will start in 2022.
Our partner for this project is Schweizer Electronic AG, a company that specialises in safety in rail traffic. All of the operational procedures of Schweizer Electronic AG are regulated and certified in accordance with, among others, CENELEC EN 50126.