FlexiDug Joint project: Flexible, digital systems for rail-based transport in growth regions

Project duration: 01.11.2021 - 31.10.2024

FlexiDug: Flexible, digital systems for rail-bound traffic in growth regions

Project Duration: 01.11.2021 – 31.10.2024

Project Video

Need for innovation

The renaturation of the depleted mining areas is the central challenge
in Lusatia. Expansion programs for long-distance passenger transport (e.g. Berlin-Cottbus) and the flexibilisation of work triggered by the Corona Pandemic make it attractive to live outside of the metropolis. This results in attractive development prospects for Lusatia. For reasons of sustainability,
what already exists should continue to be used, while at the same time economical solutions need to be developed.

Project goal and execution

  • Analysis of existing and dismantled infrastructure and the conceptual design of future traffic spiders based on this.
  • Conception and exemplary structure of a digital twin (incl. BIM data model) for the existing railway network in a uniform digital environment
  • Development of sensor networks to secure railway infrastructure in former mining regions
  • Development of a dynamic, digital control and safety technology (D.LST)

The FlexiDug project is developing a rail-specific sensor network for monitoring and managing rail infrastructure, as well as a scalable operating procedure
and safety technology for rail operations. As a basis, among other things, BIM data of the works railway network are linked to form a digital twin. A test of the prototypes (network and operating procedures/LST) in the laboratory is planned. A final field test will demonstrate the validity of the results in the field.

Expected results

  • Transferable concepts for sensor networks for use in the railway sector with a focus on infrastructure monitoring.
  • Transferable system of scalable, digital control and security technology.
  • Transferable concept for the integration of sensors and control and security technology in a dynamic BIM overall model.
  • Reactivation of rail traffic in the region, repurposing of industrial railways; Incentives against depopulation.

Focus of the Group „Verteilte Systeme / Betriebssysteme“ in Cottbus:

The subsoil in Lusatia is characterized by mining. This raises the concern that underground changes will affect the infrastructure and lead to dangerous situations. In addition to these continuously acting forces, short-term events also place high demands on the infrastructure.  Sensor networks are always application-specific, but the environmental conditions present bring extraordinary challenges to the sensor network. Specialized sensor types are to be used here, the distribution of which is adapted based on the geological conditions and structures (e.g. bridges). Protocols for considering sensor data from areas with and without infrastructure must be designed. The use of the sensor network in railway operations requires the Compliance with meta-functional aspects such as availability and reliability. These must be verified in the draft protocol as well as monitored during operation. Simulation and formal methods are used for this. Partial aspects of the aforementioned problems were examined in the field of basic research, but not applied to such complex problems. The results of basic research must therefore be suitably transferred, suitably adapted and further developed to the harsh reality of railway operations in infrastructure-poor areas that are also exposed to various dangerous situations.