KIRAS Security Research

2006

DESTRail - Prevention of Disasters from Earthquakes, Ship Impact and Terrorist Attack on Infrastructure of Rail Network

Traffic infrastructure is the backbone of our economy. The impacts of natural hazards, technological failures and human lapses threaten infrastructure and can thus result in considerable economic damages. Several events in the last few years showed that indirect damages exceeded the direct damages by far. This proposal focuses on the railway network. Troubles due to the above-mentioned influences can lead to disasters, which mean loss of human lives and considerable material damages. The content of this project is real damage identification, calculated evaluation and subsequent automatic train influence. Trains which approach defective parts in the route network are immediately stopped.

This ambitious project covers a large area of security research. It is attempted to find methods and algorithms which are applicable both for fighting terrorist attacks and impacts of natural hazards. Following the lessons we learnt during near catastrophes like the ship impact at the Danube Bridge in Krems or the track faults during the Izmit earthquake, the work focuses on the restriction of Risk Zones for Earthquake Impacts in the Austrian Railway Network. Spots in the railway network which pass or cross active tectonic faults are identified by means of remote sensing methods (evaluation of Landsat, SAR, Insar and Envisat data). This immediately leads to the drawing up of a hazard map for the Austrian railway network. In combination with the evaluation from earthquake records from the Austrian Strongmotion Network a potential damage can be calculated within a few seconds and stop railway traffic.

On the other hand impacts by ships (like in Krems 2005/6) can damage railway bridges in such a way that a passing train would crash. A permanently working combination of sensors and detectors is to provide respective indications to such events. This information is evaluated in a decision support system and respective stop signals are activated.

The above-mentioned technological approach was already described for other purposes. In the present project the applicability to the Austrian railway network is to be examined and proved. Respective fundamental research and development works are necessary.

The project starts with the rough estimation of different risks in the Austrian railway network. Data for assessment are obtained by means of remote sensing and superimposed with the network via a GIS system. Respective influence areas are to be defined. Concerning technological risks it is checked how effective pattern recognition from acceleration data is. This concept could already be tested during the damage identification at bridges in successful Austrian projects. The stable applicability of the known algorithms is to be examined and developed. The last step is the transfer of the algorithm to general application cases starting from the global structure up to the risk element.

The result of the work should be a basis for a prototype for an alarm system at Austrian railway engineering structures.

Project leader

DI Dr. Helmut Wenzel, VCE Holding GmbH

Other Project- or Cooperation partner

ÖBB Infrastruktur AG
BOKU – Institut für Vermessung, Fernerkundung und Landinformation
APLICA Advanced Solutions GesmbH
UIBK – Institut für Infrastruktur Arbeitsbereich Umwelttechnik          

Contact

VIENNA CONSULTING ENGINEERS, HOLDING GMBH
A-1140 Vienna, Hadikgasse 60
Tel:  +43 1 897 53 39
Fax:  +43 1 893 86 71
e-mail:  vce@atnet.at 
HP: www.vce.at

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