openETCS - Eclipse in the Rail Domain
Eclipse is used in many domains, and the rail domain is the latest addition. The ITEA2 project openETCS was launched in 2012 and aims to provide an Eclipse-based tool for developing the on-board controllers for trains (amongst other things). The main objective of the project is to improve interoperability of equipment from various manufacturers, and to ensure long-term support of tools and system model. The project will conclude by the end of this year: Join this talk to learn about the openETCS tool, the results of this project, and how it will continued in the future.
The European Train Control System (ETCS) is a signalling and control system, designed to replace the many incompatible systems currently used by European railways. It is a central element that allows international high-speed railway lines. But even though trains like the Thalys cross countries on a regular basis, broad implementation of ETCS lags behind, for various reasons. Amongst other things, the ETCS specification is managed in prose using MS Word which contains ambiguities and inconsistencies, resulting in interoperability problems within various ETCS implementations. To fix this, openETCS aims to create an open model of the ETCS specification. By encouraging manufacturers to use a common system model as the foundation for their controllers, rather than prose, interoperability would improve significantly. Further, this model would use an open and freely available tool, to minimize barriers of entry and to reduce risk with respect to long-term support.
Eclipse has been chosen as the foundation for this tool. The initial goal was to support all activities for the development of the software component of controllers, according to the V-Model. It quickly became clear that this was overly ambitious, and that the biggest value could be achieved by a better management of the existing ETCS specification and by the creation of a SysML system model.
In this talk, we will present the Eclipse-based openETCS Extended Tool Construction Set (openETCS), which manages the original Word-based ETCS requirements using the Eclipse Requirements Modeling Framework (RMF). For system modeling, the Eclipse Papyrus component is employed. A number of additional components have been prototyped and/or developed to handle activities like traceability, configuration management, code generation, validation and the like. To ensure that openETCS continues after the project concludes, the openETCS Foundation e.V. has been created as a non-profit, modelled after Eclipse Working Groups.