A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical system. There can be a digital twin of infrastructure, of signalling system, etc.

For us, we made a digital twin of a test system to test our ATO on-board unit (OBU). The twin consists of a digital representation of the track with balise and signalling data.

Therefore, by connecting the OBU to the digital test system, it has all the required input to function and this allow us to test its different modules such as:

  • Communication protocol with ATO Trackside
  • Processing of Journey Profile (=timetable) and Segment Profile (route data)
  • Running profile optimizer
  • ATO’s state machine
  • Driver-Machine Interface (DMI)

Testing the driver interaction with ATO (the driver presses the Start Button)
The train departed from the station (the speedometer is reflecting the real speed of the train)

With the digital twin, we reduce the frequency of going to the real track to test the OBU. For each test night, it is required to buy a time slot for the train to run, assemble the whole test team and to ensure the train is ready for ATO testing. As such, we can save on cost, time and manpower.

In conclusion, a digital twin can be something other than a test system. And we are happy to support you in building one!


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Rail Systems Engineering