Paris, August 2017 : With their partner Nomosense, Wyres succeeds in the deployment of their LoRa based geolocalisation infrastructure along 8km of metro tunnels for the RATP during their RER A refurbishment works.
A complex construction project
If you have visited Paris this summer, you couldn’t have missed it! From the end of July, as in 2015 and 2016, the RER A line was closed for 1 month between La Defense and Nation to enable construction work in the tunnels. RATP (responsible for the Paris transport system) is doing this each summer in order to allow track and ballast replacement, to comply with operating requirements for the new high capacity trains. This is a huge and complex project, which must be managed down to the last detail, and involves significant flow of people, machines and tools through the 24 km of tunnels. Supervising this enormous traffic is absolutely crucial for RATP in order to meet the strict deadlines of the project.
Geolocation in deep indoor environments
Iot Geolocation looks like a good solution to know in real time where people and objects are in the tunnels, and to ensure both workforce safety and logistical optimization during the construction works. But there was a difficult challenge : how to get connectivity to devices in such a ‘deep indoor’ location, with access to mains electricity supplies and mobile 4G networks limited to the station areas? Chosing the LoRa network technology brought many benefits for this use case, allowing good penetration down the tunnels from gateways in the stations (where power and backhaul networks exist) and battery operation for the devices along the track. Bringing LoRa network coverage for the full length of each tunnel was the first challenge for RATP and Wyres.
Initially, our team performed a LoRa coverage study, and tested directional antenna usage. Based on these first results, we deployed Multitech gateways and directional antennas on the multiple tunnels between Pont de Neuilly and Chatelet Les Halles (8 km) for an initial operational pilot of 1 month.
With around 1.5 km of range for each antenna at the station, we were able to cover each segment with just 2 antennas and gateways. Once the LoRa network was operational, the complete indoor geolocation system using Wyres LoRa beacons was deployed along the full length by our partner Nomosense.
After this 1 month pilot phase, RATP and Wyres have tested and validated the performance of both LoRa network technology and the LoRa based Wyres indoor geolocation system in this highly constrained environment. The objective is to let RATP use geolocation operationally for the next phase of construction, allowing them to:
- Find tools and machines along the 10km of tunnel workings
- Ensure the security of workers who are located in dangerous zones
- Ensure the security of workers with the movement of machines
- Ensure that nobody is in dangerous zones during prohibited times
Discover more applications of indoor Geolocation.
A word from RATP Group
“The success of this project is proves again that merging the skills of startups and major groups results in value creation. The project was initiated by our startup division, which aims to enable us to experiment with new technologies and solutions in a rapid prototyping model. Today, we are proud to be incubating around 50 projects“
Marie-Claude Dupuis, Strategy, Innovation and Development Director
What Wyres and Nomosense learned
“The involvement and the responsiveness of the stakeholders was a critical factor in this project, and enabled us to turn the R&D investment made by Wyres into a fully deployable and operational solution within an industrial environment.”
Jérémy Marty, CEO at Nomosense
“This project pushed the limits of our product, and of the LoRa technology. Such a complex environment both in terms of radio transmission, and in terms of installation restrictions was a challenge for our team. Our deployment of a multiple gateway solution using 4G backhaul and directional antennas was first for us and possibly for a LoRa network worldwide! Equally the operation of our geolocalisation technology in this environment required us to master both the backend cloud data treatment, and also the physical problems to be overcome to deploy a battery powered, long lifetime IoT object in an extreme environment! We are very happy to have learned so much from this first pilot, and to have delivered solutions allowing the project to move forwards.”