Infralert project hits another milestone
Infralert is an international project within the framework of Horizon 2020 counting 7 members, which will be finished in 2018 according to the initial plans. The aim of the project is to develop an IT system which is able to collect, store and analyse data of existing roads and railways, and it will also determine the maintenance tasks which are necessary to keep the performance of the infrastructure system in optimal condition.
With the help of the new system, it will be easier to learn what kind of maintenance work is necessary in the near future on a given road or railway, and what resources are needed to carry out the maintenance or renovation process. The system will be able to predict the outcome of different scenarios including different resources, thus optimising the maintenance of road and railways systems. Thanks to the automation, the service can provide reliability and safety by minimising incidences and failures of decaying assets.
The challenges of Infralert
The project kicked off in 2016 within the framework of an international consortium counting 7 members. Régens was asked to take part in the project, and we were happy to accept the exciting task full of R&D challenges.
In the first half of the project, the participants were mainly planning the system and the operations. The task of creating the components of this complex system was divided between the project partners. The task of Régens is to develop a system that is built on a Cloud-based infrastructure, which links the components of the intelligent system together, and collects and analyses the data coming from them. The network will also allow the many system operators to access relevant information, and intervene in the linear systems on an integrated platform.
During the project, we are able to work with a number of innovative and current technologies. In the research and planning phase, we could deepen our understanding and learn a lot about the most modern methods. In the first half of the project we created the user interface, and planned the user experience and the software-architecture to develop in a later phase. During the planning, we had the opportunity to tackle the following tech-challenges:
The basis of the Infralert system is a data farm which contains all the data coming from the measurements of the roads and railways. The task of developers at Régens is to create a platform to load these data into the system, and to allow for the intelligent toolkits to access the data.
Having the data is not enough. In the second phase of the project we are going to develop an intelligent system to support decision making, which is also able to make predictions using the data. The predictions will contain the current condition of the given road or railway, and plans for maintenance and renewal. The system will also include different scenarios including different human and financial resources to provide the best and longest-lasting solution.
To store the data and the running programmes, we are going to use Cloud-based technology.
The system is for an industry in which hundreds of people are involved. The participants of the project work with different types of data, so it is also a challenge to make the information available for those (and only those) who need it for their work, and who are eligible to see it. The solution for this is an admin system which has more than 10 different roles and functions associated with them.
Our work so far
Today in Brussels Régens and all the other participants of the project are presenting their plans so far, so the actual development phase may start. During the first phase, we have created the development plans, we have planned the software-architecture (and also implemented certain components to make sure that the system fulfills the functional needs that had not been specified before). Furthermore, we have made wireframes to illustrate the user interface, which also allows the participants of the project to share their opinion about the navigation and the workflow. We have also determined what types of technological solutions and methods we are going to use.
We are very excited about the next phase of development - and of course, we are going to keep doing our best to come up with the most optimal solution, as well as taking advantage of the methods and technologies available.