The project, known as the Grand Paris Express, commenced in 2017, is overseen by public enterprise Société du Grand Paris and consists of multiple new rapid-transit lines in the Paris region. The latest rail line comprises five stretches of tunnel, totaling 33 kilometers (20 miles) of tunnel; it requires approximately 400 workers and relies on equipment such as a tunnel boring machine (TBM) to drill out the tunnel. The organization sought a system that would ensure worker safety throughout the multi-year project.
Litum designed an RTLS system developed with UWB RFID technology, which utilizes RTLS tags (transmitters) and RTLS anchors (receivers) that operate on a mesh network structure.
Litum manufactured the system, including the RTLS UWB anchors [readers], tags, firmware and software in addition to providing installation and ongoing support. In the tunnel itself, 48 anchors (readers) were installed that capture transmissions from the badges. Each anchor has a read distance of 150 meters (492 feet) aboveground and about 100 meters (328 feet) in the tunnels.
The tags of workers are matched with their ID’s and worn by attaching their helmet. The system wirelessly forwards each tag ID, along with its location to the gateway anchor via the mesh network structure. The gateway then forwards the data to the Litum’s cloud based software in order to update the individual's position and movement. The precise location of tags is calculated by Litum's location engine software by using proprietary algorithms. That location can be calculated with an accuracy of about 50 centimeters (19.7 inches). Thus, as each worker moves around the worksite and through the tunnel, his or her location is displayed on a dashboard map as a dot. In that way, management can view where all personnel are located in real time, as well as collect and store historic data.
In the event of an incident, such as an unauthorized individual entering a restricted area, an alert is issued directly to managers or supervisors onsite, who can then quickly address the problem. In case of the emergencies that might take place onsite, system manager can send alert to employee badges individually or collectively to warn them. In addition, RTLS UWB nodes are installed throughout the tunnel, every 100 meters (656 feet). Those nodes come with a button that can be pressed to activate the alarm system, which enable workers to activate alarm system if needed. The two-way nature of the communication makes emergency alarm management easier. When alarm activated, evacuation is safer and much safer through the software that displays each worker's location.