Even a flood would not stop the uST complex operation

Throughout 2023, flooding affected literally every region of the world. This disaster causes serious damage to infrastructure, making transportation in the affected areas impossible. The uST transport and infrastructure complex will help to avoid the collapse of supplies and isolation in such flooded regions. This is a unique Belarusian development that operates even in the most difficult conditions and is not afraid of the flood consequences. For more details, please see our material.

The elevated track is not afraid of flooding

In a flood-affected region, the capacity of the transportation network is significantly reduced for a prolonged period of time. The accumulation of flood waters on the surface of the tracks makes them impassable, and the roadbed itself is destroyed.

View of flooded New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Photo: wikipedia.org

All this leads to long traffic jams, which cause congestion and prevent local residents from leaving the affected region in time. This is a disaster on a regional scale, as after the big waters leave, there is a lot of damaged urban and private transport left behind.

Movement through flooded areas can only be done by amphibious vehicles or boats, which makes the delivery of food and evacuation of people more difficult. But what if we could do all this with ordinary urban transport that is not afraid of large bodies of water? How much money and lives could be saved!

Urban transport, which can operate in flood conditions, was created by the Belarusian company Unitsky String Technologies Inc. This is the uST complex. Its route can be located ten meters above ground level, depending on the terrain and the specifics of the project. Unmanned electric rail vehicles on steel wheels – uPods – move along it. The uST complex is designed to operate around the clock and transport up to 50,000 passengers per hour during peak times. Each uPod is equipped with its own energy storage device, so it will be able to reach a safe station even if the power supply is turned off (which often happens in disaster areas).

Advantages of uST technology

The string rail, on which the uPods move, is characterized by its high strength. Its basis is a bundle of prestressed load-bearing reinforcement enclosed in a steel body filled with a special compound. It will be difficult to sway such a structure even in a hurricane wind.

uST transport and infrastructure complex
Visualization of the uST complex in an urban environment

Thanks to the prestressing technology, the entire load is transferred to the anchoring structures located at intervals of about 3 kilometers. When designing an overpass in areas that may be prone to flooding, all risks associated with extreme impacts on the supporting structures are considered. The high-strength foundations of the anchoring structures ensure the stability of the aboveground overpass even during prolonged flooding.

Supporting towers will not fall even in case of severe damage, because they will “hold on” to the track. Even the loss of several supporting towers will not affect the performance of the uST complex in any way. Of course, the track structure will sag, but the possibility of movement along it will remain. It has a tenfold margin of safety, and the uPods themselves are securely held on a string rail.

Safe movement in case of disaster

The uST complex may become the only mean of transportation in the city during a flood. Its track structures and stations can be elevated above ground, ensuring their functionality in conditions of raging water.

uST transport and infrastructure complex
The engineers test uLite

The complex is resilient to power outages, can be monitored remotely, and operates 24/7 in any weather condition. Unlike land-based urban transport, the uST complex would not suffer significant damage from flooding, and would not require substantial restoration costs.

10 May 2024