About the project


Railway is entering the era of full automation thanks to wireless sensors and communication systems shifting control functions from the human driver to computers. High data rate, robustness, high reliability and ultra-low latency are required for the wireless communications in the context of autonomous train and safety critical applications. In the meantime, one of the main problems not yet completely solved for railway, is spectrum scarcity. Particularly for railway control and command in the 800-900 MHz bands, only 2 x 4 MHz are allocated and in the1900 MHz band, only 10 MHz are allocated. The objectives of the mmW4Rail project is to explore the mmW frequency bands in order to answer specific needs for railways in addition to or for complementing the current standards. This is foreseen in well-defined and restricted areas (e.g. train stations, shunting yards, high-speed lines, different terrains), while possibly sharing existing infrastructures, and for specific use cases such as virtual coupling of trains, platooning, remote driving of trains, downloading maintenance data, etc.


The mmW4Rail project focuses on three fundamental research topics for future mmW T2X (Train-to-everything) communications for Rail corresponding to the project technical workpackages, namely:

  • Characterization and modelling of millimeter Wave (mmW) radio channels for dynamic railway scenarios (moving transmitters, receivers and scatterers) for specific use cases such as virtual coupling of trains, platooning, remote driving of trains, downloading maintenance data and specific areas : train stations, shunting yards, high-speed lines, different terrains;
  • Antenna specification, design and prototyping for Train-to-Train (T2T) / Train-to-Infrastructure (T2I) communication applications in the mmW;
  • Design of solutions to enhance reliability and performances at Physical layer for T2T / T2I mmW communications and System level simulations

During the project, we will consider mainly the three following use cases relevant for the T2I and T2T mmW communications:

  • T2I communication systems along high speed line with infrastructure sharing as described on Figure 1;
  • T2I communications in specific areas (near stations, marshalling yards, shunting areas) for remote driving of trains as developed in SNCF and Railenium project [TC Rail];
  • T2T communications for virtual coupling and platooning applications.



The mmW4Rail project is organized in five interconnected Work Packages (WP) over 48 months.WP5 is for management.WP4 concerns the dissemination of results in both scientific and professional communities.The scientific barriers will be solved in WP1, WP2 and WP3 with simulations and with experimentations.WP1 consists in channel characterisation and modelling in specific railway areas for T2T and T2I communications. WP2 will focus on antenna integration in the specific context. In WP3 we will first define the requirements for T2I and T2T wireless communications in the railway context based on existing documents. We will define the key performance indicators (KPI) to consider in the evaluation process. The channel characterisation will be performed at Centre d’Essais Ferroviaire (CEF) at Petite Forêt (59). Specific rail-road vehicles on tracks will be considered.


Gantt of the project