With its planned length of 12 km, the Granitztal tunnel chain will form an important part of the route to the Koralm Tunnel Railway once it has been completed. Already in construction, Zumtobel are ensuring safety throughout the underground construction with modern localisation technologies.
The section of the Granitztal tunnel chain, currently under construction, is an important part of the planned 130 km long Koralmbahn high-speed railway line. In the future, the Koralmbahn will cross the Koralpe and thus connect Graz with Klagenfurt to improve speed and connection times. In order to ensure the best possible protection and safety of personnel and visitors during the construction project, the Austrian construction companies and ARGE Granitztal ET – 50HZ Hereschwerke Leyrer + Graf, on behalf of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), were looking for a temporary solution for real-time people and object detection for the project, in the Granitztal tunnel construction section which is estimated to take around 2.5 years. In addition to a total tunnel length of 12 km (two tubes with a length of 6 km each), the associated 12 connecting tunnels, as well as, the connected logistics and ventilation buildings, are included.
A contactless detection solution was required for up to 400 people and vehicles, using portable detection modules that were as easy to install, as to remove, as well as suitable software, including a management dashboard to register the people or vehicles on the construction site. For increased safety, the solution actively monitors the battery status of the registration modules. Leyrer + Graf were able to see the important benefits of Zumtobel’s Digital Services.
Intelligent technology ensures safety
For the customised detection solution, Zumtobel have used the integration of hardware and software from its wide partner network to create a complete solution. Using Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE)-based AoA (Angle-of-Arrival) technology, the intelligent localisation system enables objects and people to be located and tracked in almost real time – with an accuracy of less than one metre. This sets a new standard in the safety concept of the tunnel construction site.
For this purpose, outdoor locators were installed in the tunnel’s existing network infrastructure by the client Leyrer + Graf between November 2020 and February 2021. This will allow movements to be recorded and tracked at every entrance, exit and branch in the tunnel.
More than 400 tags are carried by people and vehicles enabling data collection. This data is transmitted to a local server where it is processed. Afterwards, a corresponding software forwards it to a cloud environment. There, the collected data is analysed and visualised using cloud software for presentation in the management dashboard. The dashboard can be easily accessed via any web browser.
For maximum security, all cloud variations and the required internet connection are redundant. In addition, the network technology in each section has been equipped with an uninterruptible power supply. Throughout the project, Zumtobel are constantly monitoring all the local system components and have proactively advise if any part has failed. The monitoring is so precise that it detects, for example, if a locator has shifted due to vibrations on site. The same applies to the local servers, the operating system and the locally installed software. Zumtobel also monitors these continuously for its customers so that remedial action can be taken immediately in the event of a malfunction. In addition to commissioning and permanent monitoring, Zumtobel is also responsible for training the staff on site on how to use the new solution.
Simple and precise detection of people and objects
Using Zumtobel’s customised location intelligence solution, the position of up to 400 people and vehicles can be recorded simultaneously in real time on the underground construction site. This is done for all workers and visitors to the construction site. For this purpose, they are registered individually via the management interface and linked to a BLE tag. As soon as a person then enters the tunnel, they are automatically recorded. In addition to the duration of their stay, the zone in which the person is currently located, is also recorded. In the event of danger, the position data can then be used by the emergency services for evacuation. In this way, even under time pressure, it is possible to quickly determine who is currently in which area of the tunnel.
In addition, the system constantly records and monitors the battery charge status of the tags. If the battery charge level is low, the system reports this problem by e-mail to the responsible security officer to initiate the process to replace the battery. After the “low battery” message, there are 14 days within which it needs to be replaced. If the tag can no longer be reliably detected due to its state of charge, the system refuses access to the construction site for security reasons.
“The people detection system is convincing in all lines. The simple operation, the precise and fast recording of persons, and vehicles, as well as the convenient notification services, enable us to always monitor the occupancy status in the tunnel,” says Andreas Schweiger, Site Manager Energy and Telecom at Leyrer + Graf. “In the event of an evacuation, the highly innovative system provides us with safety-critical information, which in turn significantly increases safety for those underground.” However, it was not only the solution that convinced the construction company, but also the close cooperation with Zumtobel throughout the entire project.
“From the very beginning, Zumtobel supported us very professionally through all phases of the project – from conceptual design, development and delivery to the final handover of the solution. All requirements were met 100 per cent and, above all, on time. Zumtobel also provided us with a great deal of support on DSGVO-related issues throughout the entire project,” concludes Andreas Schweiger. After completion of the electrical installation work by Leyrer + Graf – in two and a half to three years – the tracking system will be dismantled as scheduled.