With regard to self-financed projects:

  • MULTI-FUNCTION PORTAL: in 2011, after this experience, the Group parent took part in the tender called by RFI for the supply of 7 multi-function portals.
  • RBC:
    The evolution of the demand for the ERTMS system, also outside of Europe, highlighted the need for increasingly modular and efficient designing, configuration, verification and validation, simulation instruments for the RBC product. Moreover, through the increase in the number of ERTMS applications in different contexts that generate specific customizations, it was possible to improve the said planning environment favouring a standardisation of functions and their configurability (library) that makes more efficient the process for the release of new applications and the related certifications (non-regression test). In particular, the German, Chinese and Swedish markets highlighted new needs linked to specific functionalities of the operator interface; these changed the basic RBC components regarding “heavy” controls as well as the configuration of the operator interface. The implementation of the safe control procedure, with the elimination of the heavy keyboard has been completed and the procedure has been validated. Feasibility studies have been carried out for the use of RBC in other applications based on radio-signalling with satellite localisation, in particular for the American and Australian market;
  • Standard BALISE:
    In order for the balise to be programmed without being removed from the sleeper, a specific interface was designed so that it can be programmed via Air-Gap.
  • Reduced-size BALISE:
    • project documents were completed;
    • the first via air-gap programming prototypes were built and installed on the Alifana plant for the necessary experimental tests;
    • the first programming units for the balise are available.
  • RADIO IN FILL:
    • with regard to the radio infill Line equipment a prototype was realised and experimented and tests preliminary to type tests are now being assessed. All the requirements currently stabilised by RFI were met. The product documentation is being completed. The completion of this development remains subject to RFI’s confirmation of its actual need for the radio infill product (at the moment this confirmation has not arrived yet).
  • SIGNAL ENCODER:
    • the development of the prototype was completed with a configuration that is suitable to the POS project in Germany supplemented by a new acquisition and supply module necessary for its application in Romania;
    • type tests were successfully run on this prototype;
    • radiated and driven EMC stress tests were successfully run;
    • Verification and Validation activities were completed;
    • the Tito plant manufactured the first pre-series samples in order to check that serial production can be carried out properly;
    • field tests in Romania are continuing.
    • With reference to the ERTMS Level 1 system, which the signal encoder refers to, designing and configuration instruments have been developed in support of this application.
  • ON BOARD:
    • Improvements to the odometric algorithm were identified and (ongoing) development requirements were defined for a new odometry system to be used on both the CPU2 and the DIVA platforms;
    • The development of a new BTM (acquisition of a balise) continued (standalone);
    • Release 2.3.0.d of SRS ERTMS on DIVA is being enhanced, with the utmost possible optimisation of logic 2.3.0.d (sw4.0) for which the safety case was released in Italy and certification from RFI is pending;
    • Standardisation activities are under way for “buy” components of the DMI, JRU and MT type.
  • CBTC:
    • activities have been carried out for the integration of the wayside and onboard system, including the core (ATP) and non-core (ATO) components, through the optimisation of the R&D resources, which, stretched over several geographical locations, are now managed at a central level and are co-ordinated at a global level;
    • lab & field integration tests of the software relating to the wayside zone controller and to the onboard ATP system are continuing;
    • the IXL static upgrade is continuing using CBTC requirements;
    • the simulation system for CBTC (wayside/onboard) integrated tests was developed.
    • the integration and upgrade of the ATS supervisory system are under way in relation with the moving block requirements operated using the CBTC mode;
    • the use of the eurobalise beacon was defined as a standard “tag” for CBTC applications;
    • activities are under way for upgrading the CBTC system, as well as other sub-system such as Interlocking (MICROLOK II or ACC) and (ATS) supervisory system, from the driver mode to the driverless mode (functional requirements relating to the driverless mode were defined in December 2011);
    • an analysis is being run on the possibility to develop the CBTC system without train detection systems (mostly for tramwave applications and in any case to reduce times and costs of planning, construction and maintenance);
    • TOD: Man-machine interface for CBTC onboard equipment: the first version of the ToD (touch screen) was released in relation with the system requirements that are currently available.
  • QMR evolution: After the QMR was applied to the ACS equipment in Pisa, developments are under way that are necessary for the new architectures required by RFI, with the possibility of centralising the MMI, with safe commands, also for power relay devices (“electronic hat”), the handling of failures using peripheral logics, high–speed centre-periphery communications on open networks, centre-periphery direct connections, without using the area controller. Particular mention goes to the development of the new Wayside Standard Platform that has been configurated for Interlocking applications but, in agreement with the defined product strategy, will be integrated also for the RBC functions (GSM/R-GPRS radio communication), Zone Controller (WiFi for subway), PTC (non-GSM/R radio communication, TETRA type, with satellite localization) and TSR (Temporary Speed Restriction for both metro track circuit applications and ERTMS L1 applications).
  • High and Low LED Signals: development activities are under way for (High and Low) LED signals for the Italian and the foreign markets. In particular, led solutions were identified for both dichroic mirror signals and self-contained signal units, with the cooperation of external companies (especially as regards the mechanical part of the signal), combined with filters and serial interfaces with interlocking devices. Tests and assessments are being carried out by RFI.

At 31 December 2011, research and development costs were equal to EUR 33,900 thousand, with a slight decrease compared with EUR 34,827 thousand at 31 December 2010.

The activities undertaken by the Signalling Business Unit, totalling EUR 32,475 thousand (EUR 33,053 thousand in the same period in 2010) or 96% of total spending, mainly related to the following companies (figures in thousands of euros):

  • Ansaldo STS SpA: 14,167
  • Ansaldo STS France: 12,647
  • Ansaldo STS USA : 5,562

The activities undertaken by the Transportation Solutions Business Unit amounted to EUR 1,425 thousand compared with EUR 1,774 thousand at 31 December 2010.

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