Structure of the complex
All components of uST Transport & Infrastructure Complexes are unique projects of the company. The key elements of the product of Unitsky String Technologies Inc. are structurally lightweight and strong string rail overpass, unmanned steel-wheeled electric cars, automated control system, as well as string transport stations and other infrastructure.
String rail overpass
uST Transport & Infrastructure Solutions are based on the new-generation pre-stressed transport overpass technology, with the string rail as its key component
It is an ordinary steel, uncut (lengthwise) reinforced concrete or steel-iron-concrete beam with tensile strings (a bundle of pre-stressed wires) located in its core. The operating surface of the rail is equipped with a special head, which carries passenger and cargo steel-wheeled electric cars (uPods) that travel in automatic mode at speeds of up to 150 km/h (up to 500 km/h in the future).
The string rail overpass consists of anchoring structures, supporting towers, a system of electrical insulators to isolate rails from each other, from supports and support assemblies, as well as from the frame and body of uPods.
Anchoring structures are equipped with anchoring nodes — structural components of the track structure in which the tension of string rails is fixed that transmit the tension force to the anchoring structures.
Fastening of the track structure to supporting towers and load transfer thereto act as support assemblies which represent a combination of components of the track structure (stinger wire, saddles, etc.).
All support assemblies are both load-bearing components (they transmit pre-stressing forces and the weight of rolling stock) and electrical insulators designed for the voltage of up to 1000 V.
The track structure consists of stressed and unstressed sections. The stressed sections of the track structure (both mechanical and electrical stress) are located between anchoring structures; the unstressed sections are located at turns (turnarounds) that are arranged behind the anchoring structures. The stressed sections make up an electrified track structure while the unstressed ones represent a non-electrified track structure on which uPods are propelled from onboard storage devices (storage batteries).
The horizontal load is borne by the anchoring structures that are installed up to 10 kilometers apart. They can be combined with different-purpose buildings, including passenger stations and cargo terminals
The vertical load is distributed on supporting towers installed at intervals of up to 2,000 meters. The track structure looks light and elegant: it does not obscure the sky and allows you to keep watching natural landscapes on the route.
uST Transport & Infrastructure Solutions based on patented technologies of string rail and string rail transport overpasses require minimum land allotment for construction. They can be adapted for any logistics purposes in urban and intercity transportation of passengers and cargoes.
Advantages of string rail overpass
The most significant advantages of uST string rail overpass are high strength and evenness of the track, ease of manufacture, low material consumption, capability of operation at extreme temperatures, and minimum energy consumption during the travel of steel-wheeled electric cars
Also, small cross dimensions of the string rail and its high elevation above the ground optimizes aerodynamics (by eliminating parasitic ground effect), increases movement speed and ensures a high level of safety of the transport complex.
Types of string rails, permissible travel speeds and spans
- Currently, there are four types of string rail track structures: rigid, semi-rigid, flexible, and semi-flexible.
Rigid — maximum payload (up to 100 t), high-speed modes (up to 500 km/h), small spans (up to 100 m)
Semi-rigid — enhanced payload (up to 30 t), fast-speed modes (up to 350 km/h) and small spans (up to 50 m)
Flexible — standard payload (up to 20 t), low-speed modes (up to 150 km/h) and large spans (up to 2 km, and up to 5 km when using composite strings)
Semi-flexible (a combination of semi-rigid and flexible ones) — enhanced payload (up to 30 t), high-speed modes (up to 500 km/h) and large spans (up to 2 km, and up to 5 km when using composite strings)
uST Transport & Infrastructure Complexes ensure passenger and cargo transportation by means of rolling stock, namely, unmanned steel-wheeled rail electric cars (uPods)
UST Inc. developed a set of generic (tested and certified) structural and technological solutions for the creation of uST Transport Complexes. They allow performing various tasks in passenger and cargo transportation. Depending on customer requests and climatic conditions, uST rolling stock can come in different configurations. When coupled in small trains, the passenger models of uPods can carry up to 50,000 people per hour. Cargo transport is capable of handling up to 100 million tons pef cargo per year.
Rail electric uPods can be roughly divided into three basic modules:
- traction module
- functional module (cargo/passenger/cargo and passenger)
- onboard control system (OCS)
The traction module provides all travel modes of uPod along the track structure of the transport complex. The traction module includes:
- traction drive system
- braking system
- heading-hold system
- vehicle evacuation system and fire extinguishing system
The passenger module is designed to locate passengers and their luggage, protect and create a safe and comfortable environment for their stay inside while traveling and at stops, including emergency ones. The passenger module includes:
- entrance system (door system)
- interior with seats (if needed), handrails, handicapped space
- ventilation and microclimate system
- lighting system (working and emergency)
- passenger information system (video and duplex communication with the operator)
- information plates, indicator lights
- passenger evacuation system to the ground
- fire fighting equipment (fire extinguishers)
Onboard control system (OCS) is a set of hardware and software designed to control uPod and ensure safe traffic conditions.
OCS consists of several functional systems that perform all necessary control and safety functions:
- automatic uPod protection system
- automatic uPod train operation (ATO)
- automatic uPod train control and management system (TCMS)
- uPod automated guidance system
- Communication system
- Safety check system
- Positioning system
- Power supply to traction drive system
- Power supply to other systems
- Entrance system
- Ventilation and microclimate system
- Lighting system
- Passenger information system
- Passenger evacuation system
- Fire extinguishing system
- Traction drive system
- Braking system
- Heading-hold system
- uPod evacuation system
- Fire extinguishing system
Steel-wheeled rail electric cars can provide fast, safe and comfortable passenger communication on routes of various length and performance
Unique engineering solutions of UST Inc enable to organize maximum passenger traffic with minimum costs even in the most harsh conditions, when a specific vehicle is selected depending on the parameters of the route.
uPods, including those assembled in trains, can have different capacities — from 2 to 250 passengers. Their design allows the individual modules to be coupled into a single train through a rigid or electronic coupler. The number of sections and their capacity depends on the expected passenger flow. The vehicles are driven by the electric traction drive. Automated control systems ensure speed and route control. The maximum speed is 150 km/h.
uPods designed for the transportation of goods can ensure reliable and fast transportation over any distance
Cargo vehicles are effective in mining sites, minerals extraction, oil, coal and metallurgical industries, as well as in construction and a number of other applications.
uST transport can handle different types of cargo: bulk (loose), liquid, breakbulk, special, as well as sea containers of 20 to 40 feet in nominal length. Their loading and unloading is automatic. The maximum speed of transportation is 150 km/h. Speed and route control is ensured by automated control systems.
Automated control systems
Control systems of uST Transport & Infrastructure Complexes are automated. Technical vision helps them continuously read out information from the route, monitor the route assignment, and allow the transport to respond instantly to obstacles and threats. Their role is to ensure comfortable and safe transportation of passengers, as well as reliable and accident-free transportation of goods.
Control system (hereinafter — CS) of uST Transport & Infrastructure Complex includes the following main systems:
- central control system (CCS). It is designed to control the vehicles of the transport complex (TC) and automated infrastructure facilities, and generate a traffic schedule based on the status of all vehicles of all systems in the transport complex to ensure safe and comfortable transportation of passengers
- onboard vehicle control system (OCS). It is designed to control subsystems of the vehicle for the sake of safe and comfortable execution of the traffic schedule
- automated infrastructure facilities and supplementary systems that ensure operation of the vehicle. They are designed to provide safe operation of the vehicle and comfortable passenger transportation
The systems receive, process and analyze information thanks to various target-specific sensors and generate full route and speed control of uPods. They make independent decisions to reduce speed or stop in case they detect an obstacle or any potential danger on the route. Real-time data exchange with the components of the transport and infrastructure complex is possible, as well as reception of signals from other vehicles.
Automated control systems monitor the safety condition in the vehicle cabin and the overboard situation along the entire route. They also coordinate embarkation and disembarkation of passengers, adapt travel intervals of uPods to passenger or cargo flows so that rail electric cars are not overcrowded or empty. The systems are able to recognize passenger actions that could constitute safety hazard and take measures to prevent dangerous situations. For example, acts of terrorism, vandalism, etc.
Automated control systems completely eliminate the human factor, accidents and traffic jams, provide full speed control, and uninterrupted 24-hour operation regardless of weather conditions (snowfall, heavy rain, sandstorm, etc.). The systems make uST rolling stock easily adaptable to any conditions in and out of a city, in the mountains, and in areas separated by wide water barriers.
Unitsky String Technologies Inc. creates transport and infrastructure complexes that will fit harmoniously into the existing infrastructure of any settlement while effectively solving its transport problems
uST Transport & Infrastructure Solutions can form a network of high-rise buildings with mutual overhead transport communication.
The infrastructure of the transport complex includes a string rail overpass, passenger stations, cargo terminals, maintenance area (depot), power supply complex (including contact network), control room, automatic control and communication system, as well as utilities and engineering equipment (including turnouts). All of them ensure normal operation of the complex, as well as safe travel of unmanned (with onboard control system) uPods.
The passenger terminals include stations and technical devices for passenger service. If necessary, the stations can be equipped with terminals for cargo and luggage transportation, control room and maintenance area.
The maintenance area is designed to carry out a range of activities that ensure the technical readiness of rail electric uPods throughout the entire life cycle.
The power supply complex includes technical facilities and devices (electric substations, contact network, electrical insulator system, power grids, etc.) that provide power supply to power-consuming infrastructure facilities, as well as to the rolling stock on electrified track structures.
The utilities include pipelines and cables for various purposes (water supply, sewerage, heating, power supply, communications, etc.) laid in the territory of the transport complex and (if necessary) nearby settlements to ensure the life cycle of the complex.
The elegant string rail overpass, as well as the string rail stations and depot, individually designed with consideration of specific terrain and expectations of the customer, will not conflict with the architecture of the settlement, but will favorably complement it. The principle of modularity allows the passenger terminals to fit organically into the surrounding landscape. At the same time, the existing communication networks can be integrated into the string rail, which will allow to visually “decongest” the city. There is a possibility to expand the infrastructure by including cafes, stores, entertainment centers, ATMs, pharmacies, etc.
Stations, depots and terminals for uST transport are designed and implemented by the string technology, which provides easier integration into the existing urban environment as compared to conventional forms of transport.