SMRT, A*STAR to develop tech to improve rail reliability

SMRT, A*STAR to develop tech to improve rail reliability

The five-year Master Research Collaborate Agreement will allow researchers to look into projects such as installing sensors to monitor the health of the rail infrastructure, SMRT says.

SMRT ASTAR collaboration

SINGAPORE: Transport operator SMRT on Thursday (Dec 3) announced it has signed a deal with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to work on research projects that would help improve rail reliability and performance.

SMRT signed a five-year Master Research Collaboration Agreement with A*STAR, and will collaborate with two specific institutes - the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) - for research projects, according to the press release.

For example, the teams will be exploring the possibility of installing sensors to monitor the health condition of station equipment that could help SMRT engineers conduct preventive maintenance, This could mean extending the mean time between failures and improve safety, SMRT said.

IHPC will also develop a non-intrusive condition monitoring system for railway cables for the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) to complement the existing voltage monitoring devices that are progressively being introduced to offer resilience against power faults. With this, engineers at the NSEWL Operations Control Centre will receive instant notifications when electrical discharges associated with damaged cables are detected, it said.


Besides the collaboration agreement, SMRT will establish a joint lab with IHPC to focus on research and development (R&D) to improve the operational efficiency and reliability of bus and taxi services, the press release said.

The lab will use IHPC’s capabilities in modelling, simulation and visualisation to better anticipate and manage potential issues such as bunching or traffic congestion. It would also aid SMRT in monitoring the health of its bus and taxi fleets, it added.

SMRT President and Group CEO Desmond Kuek said in the press release: “This initiative is part of SMRT’s ongoing effort to invest in research and development, working with established partners such as A*STAR to leverage on technology as part of our concerted effort to improve rail reliability and service quality.

Source: CNA/kk