Technical Reports

Identity Management for Interoperable PTC Systems in Bandwidth-Limited Environments (Part 1)

  • 08
  • Jan
  • 2015
AUTHOR: Howard & George Mason University
REPORT NUMBER: FR-TEC-0006-11-01-00
SUBJECT: Positive Train Control, Grants & Financial Assistance
KEYWORDS: PTC Railroad Safety Technology Grant
ABSTRACT: Positive Train Control is a wireless based system designed to provide comprehensive safety coverage for passenger and cargo trains operating on US railroads by 2015. Mandated by Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RISA 2008), major railroads have designed a broad architecture consisting of two networks; name the Signaling Network (SN) and the Wayside Interface Unit (WIU) network powered by software-defined radios (SDRs) that use the same 220MHz range. The Signaling Network provides authorities for trains to enter fixed blocks of track and other signal functions and the Wayside Interface Network provide sensory information about the vicinity of the tracks. The railroad community has decided that both networks require message integrity and availability but not confidentiality for both networks. The research work originally funded was going to address the ability to create an identity management system for PTC signaling, covering both the Signaling network and the WIU network. Subsequently, as the work progressed, the project scope concentrated on the security of the WIU network. Our main findings show the need to propose an enhanced WIU network. The second part articulates the need and the third part describes a potential solution and a prototype implementation.
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