A multi-radio, multi-hop ad-hoc radio communication network for Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC)

Jahanzeb Farooq, Lars Bro, Rasmus Thystrup Karstensen, José Soler

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Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) is a modern signalling system that uses radio communication to transfer train control information between train and wayside. The trackside networks in these systems are mostly based on conventional infrastructure Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11). It means a train has to continuously associate (i.e. perform handshake) with the trackside Wi-Fi Access Points (AP) as it moves, which incurs communication delays. Additionally, these APs are connected to the wayside infrastructure via optical fiber cables that incurs huge costs. This paper presents a novel design in which trackside nodes function in ad-hoc Wi-Fi mode, which means no association has to be performed with them prior to transmitting. A node upon receiving packets from a train forwards these packets to the next node, forming a chain of nodes. Following this chain, packets arrive at the destination. To make the design resilient against interference and failures, transmissions are separated on multiple frequencies and a node forwards packets to not only one but two of its neighbors. This paper investigates the resiliency, redundancy and scalability performance of this design and presents the results both from a field experiment involving prototype hardware and an extensive simulation study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference-Fall 2017
Number of pages7
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event2017 IEEE 86th Vehicular Technology Conference - Hilton Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Duration: 24 Sep 201727 Sep 2017


Conference2017 IEEE 86th Vehicular Technology Conference
LocationHilton Toronto


  • Railway signalling
  • CBTC
  • Radio communication
  • Wi-Fi
  • IEEE 802.11
  • ad-hoc
  • Multi-radio
  • Multi-hop


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