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ENHANCING RAILWAY TRACK DATA MEASUREMENT AND COLLECTION SYSTEM WITH BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY - USE OF INTER-BLOCKCHAIN COMMUNICATIONS

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The public demand for railway safety continues to be a major concern for the railway operators, the public, and the government. The Federal Railway Administration has invested in the development of various equipment for rail data collection. The automated data collection equipment has been very successful, but in this era of cyber breaches, the receiving, sharing, and access to data are of paramount importance. Blockchain technology, although in its infancy it will create an immutable record for the data, storage, and reporting if incorporated into the current automated data equipment. The main objective of this proposal is a) to develop a framework whereby blockchains will be used as lines of cyber defense and in storing and sharing railway track data and information.

 The number of blockchain platforms and decentralized applications has been increasing rapidly in the last few years. Most of the existing blockchain networks are operating in a standalone environment isolated from each other. This creates scalability issues and in most cases connectivity nightmares, therefore limiting the application of the technology. This will be achieved through the following sub-objectives:

This approach will apply to both passengers, freight, and metro systems. This Blockchain model can further be connected to various railway information systems hence providing additional defense methods against hackers. The blockchain will provide some “sort of supply chain” so only authorized personnel can approve and share the information in real time. The successful implementation of this project can be extended to other autonomous vehicle data collection systems. The project at this level will be based on a private blockchain.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR(s)

Nii Attoh-Okine

FUNDING SOURCE & AMOUNT

USDOT, $450,000 Federal

PROJECT START DATE

Official Start Date: June 1, 2023

Expected Start Date: September 1, 2023

RESEARCH OUTPUTS & IMPACTS

The output will develop both the framework and development of Blockchain Technologies in Railway Engineering and Operations.

The output of the project provides guidance on the future of Blockchain and other digital databases applications in Railway Operations.

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