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FPGA Processor with GPS for Modelling Railway Traffic Flow
Anastasios Tsiftsis, Georgios Ch. Sirakoulis and John Lygouras

In this paper, an automated electronic system able to reproduce the complex dynamic behaviors of the train movement is presented. In specific, a Cellular Automaton (CA) model was developed in order to provide efficient control of the railway traffic flow under different complicated situations such as trains of greater and different speed and length, priority at level crossings, more than one station platforms, different and probably longer station dwell times, possible deceleration for sudden cause, i.e. railway blockage, etc. Furthermore, in order to take full advantage of the inherent parallelism and fundamental features of the CAs, the proposed model was implemented on Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). The FPGA design which results from the automatically produced synthesizable VHDL code of the CA model is considered as basic component of a portable, low total cost electronic system. The latter also includes a high performance Global Positioning System (GPS) wireless communication module for the monitoring of train activity in the under study railway. This module in conjunction with the proposed fully automatically programmable FPGA device minimizes the design burden offering the chance of real-time train control operation based on the CA model. Finally, some real case experiments took place in the railway network of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace of Greece and the experimental results validate the calibration of the CA model as well as of the proposed electronic system and their ability to control train movement.

Keywords: Cellular automata, FPGA design, train operation control, GPS.

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