Dependability Analysis Of The Wireless Communication System For Virtual Coupling Of Automatic Trains – The Case Of Platooning

Universities and Institutes of France
June 18, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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20 May 2023

Job Information



Research Field

Computer science » Informatics

Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)

Leading Researcher (R4)

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Established Researcher (R3)



Application Deadline

18 Jun 2023 - 22:00 (UTC)

Type of Contract


Job Status


Offer Starting Date

1 Sep 2023

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Context, objectives and ambition

The VCTS (Virtual Coupling Train Set) concept is currently under development in the framework of the Shift2Rail 1. The platooning strategy consists of assigning trains to different platoons, determining when and where to join and leave the platoon, managing stopping at stations, etc. In this context, the process will be based on wireless communication system to ensure exchange of information between two vehicles (V2V). The safety and availability of the link are crucial for correctly setting and managing the virtual coupling operation.

Several wireless communications systems can be considered to answer the need of virtual coupling of two trains and preliminary studies exist. No choice has been yet decided. Taking advantage of ITS frequency bands in the 5.8 GHz band 2,3, it is possible to consider systems coming from the automotive world like ITS-G5. It is also possible to consider the millimetric waves band (60 GHz), allocated for safety applications since 1992, particularly for V2V communications. In this case we can consider the 5G technology in the millimetric band for V2V or M2M communications 4,5. A third solution could be to consider the LTE-A system (Long Term Evolution-Advanced), which is also considered for other railways applications, particularly Train-to-Ground links in the case of TCMS and the wireless backbone 6,7,8.

The PhD will be conducted in the framework of the European project Academics4Rail with short stays at UNiversity of Roma. The objectives of this PhD work are twofold. First, it is necessary to focus on the analysis of the impact of the wireless communication system key performance indicators (KPI) in railway environments, such as the end-to-end delay and the packet error rate, on the performance of the VCTS operation in view of some targeted safety integrity level. The impact of parameters, such as, for instance, the size of the platoon will be also considered in our analysis. The outputs of our study will support the choice for an appropriate communication system to be used in the virtually coupled train set (VCTS) context. Whatever is the chosen system to address the virtual coupling needs, the failures of the wireless link jeopardize the safety level. Thus, it is essential to guarantee a level of trust for the communication system achieved by the wireless link. This guarantee is expressed by the railway safety standards (EN 50126, 50129, 50159) according to the operating safety parameters RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Safety). The second objective of the PhD is to develop a methodology for a preliminary dependability analysis then seeks to identify and characterize all sources of errors or failures that may degrade the wireless communication link in order to evaluate, in view of these disturbances, the quality and the associated risk with the transmission system.


As mentionned previsouly, different works exist in the litterature. The PhD work will start with a litterature review in order to identify the missing points, particularly for the evaluation of the wireless links. In the next step of the work, the methodology will rely both on simulations and possibly experimental works in lab in order to evaluate some key performance indicators (KPI) of various wireless links (different frequency bands) in the context of VTCS and platooning of trains in railway environments. Differences with the road context will be highlighted. The main difficulty of this research lies in the estimation of the degradation suffered by the radio signals, the impact of the traffic load of the system and in particular the impact of the choices concerning the architecture. Different communication strategies (both multihop or single-hop) will be envisaged.

In the third part of the work, based on the different strategies and the most suitable technology, we will propose a methodology and evaluation strategy to analyze the impact of different communication parameters such as “transmission error”, “transmission latency” and “Platoon Size (VCTS units inside a Virtually Coupled Platoon)” on dependability. Considering, previous works in the literature and in the research team 9,10,11, a solution to perform the proposed evaluation will be model- based and will consider Stochastic Colored Petri Net; therefore, if there is any change of parameter values or any other scenario, which is reducible to this form (holds the same assumptions), we can use the same model for evaluation by changing parameter values.


1 Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking. (2019, nov) Multi-annual action plan (amended version) Online. Available: https: // rail- (accessed on Nov 20322)

2 A. A. Gómez et al., "Performance Analysis of ITS-G5 for Smart Train Composition Coupling," 2018 16th International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Telecommunications (ITST), 2018, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1109/ITST.2018.8566840.

3 P. Unterhuber, M. Walter, U. -C. Fiebig and T. Kürner, "Stochastic Channel Parameters for Train-to-Train Communications," in IEEE Open Journal of Antennas and Propagation, vol. 2, pp. 778-792, 2021, doi: 10.1109/OJAP.2021.3094672.

4 M. Soliman et al., "Automatic Train Coupling: Challenges and Key Enablers," in IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 57, no. 9, pp. 32-38, September 2019, doi: 10.1109/MCOM.2019.1800942.

5 M. Soliman et al., "Dynamic Train-to-Train Propagation Measurements in the Millimeter Wave Band - Campaign and First Results," 2019 13th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP) , 2019, pp. 1-5.

6 J. Moreno Garcia-Loygorri et al., "The Wireless Train Communication Network: Roll2Rail Vision," in IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 135-143, Sept. 2018, doi: 10.1109/MVT.2018.2844408.

7 M. Bouaziz, Y. Yan, J. Soler, M. Kassab and M. Berbineau, "Zero On-Site Testing Strategies for Wireless TCMS," in IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 57, no. 9, pp. 64-69, September 2019, doi: 10.1109/MCOM.001.1800994.

8 I. Lopez, J. Goikoetxea, A. Arriola, I. Zabala and R. Priego, "Field Tests of an LTE-based Wireless Train Backbone in Metro Environments," 2018 16th International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Telecommunications (ITST), 2018, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1109/ITST.2018.8566951.

9 K. T. P. Nguyen, J. Beugin, M. Berbineau and M. Kassab, "A New Analytical Approach to Evaluate the Critical-Event Probability Due to Wireless Communication Errors in Train Control Systems," in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 1380-1392, June 2017, doi: 10.1109/TITS.2016.2604043.

10 H. Song and E. Schnieder, "Availability and Performance Analysis of Train-to-Train Data Communication System," in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 2786-2795, July 2019, doi: 10.1109/TITS.2019.2914701.

11 Siddhartha Verma, Mohamed Ghazel, Marion Berbineau, Model-based dependability evaluation of a Wireless Communication System in a Virtually Coupled Train Set, IFAC-PapersOnLine, Volume 54, Issue 2,

2021, Pages 179-186, ISSN 2405-8963, https: //

Co-supervision: Pr Stefano Ricci, Univ Roma

Funding category: Contrat doctoral European project PHD Country: France


Specific Requirements

Master2 or equivalent in informatics, automatics

english speaking, french

matlab, C, pythin, petri nets,

autonomy, hard worker, collaborative work

Additional Information Work Location(s)

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