Intecs combines GNSS and sensor data for train localization - GPS World

Intecs combines GNSS and sensor data for train localization

February 15, 2024  - By
Image: kojihirano/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images

Image: kojihirano/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images

Intecs, a hardware and software developer, is creating a multi-sensor, GNSS-based platform for obtaining absolute position of trains on rail lines. The system incorporates cameras that read QR codes installed in the area adjacent to the track. The system includes a robust, software-based, data fusion engine that combines GNSS and visual data to determine train position.

The delay when a train loses its position can be significant and affect other vehicles on the rail lines. The Intecs system — assisted GNSS with imaging sensors for rail applications (AGIS4RAIL) — can correctly identify the position of a vehicle.

Test campaign
Numerous field tests have been conducted for the new system. One of the most critical sets of trials was carried out on an auto racing track. The trial involved a ground vehicle with GNSS antennas positioned on the roof and with cameras pointing to the side where QR code panels were set up at 10 m intervals. The vehicle was driven for 30 laps around the course under various conditions. AGIS4RAIL correctly identified the position of the vehicle at every lap, with the vehicle achieving a maximum speed of 35 km/h. The maximum estimated error was 4.76 m, which is in line with the target of 5 m.

Imaging sensors help to reduce the negative impact of various local effects on positioning systems that rely solely on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as multipath errors. The AGIS4RAIL system also offers protection against jamming and spoofing. Additionally, the QR-code landmarks can contain data to verify the authenticity of the landmark itself.

Further testing continues and will soon include trials onboard operational trains in Italy, according to Intecs. The AGIS4RAIL project received funding under the European Space Agency’s Navigation Innovation and Support Program (NAVISP).

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