ETCS On-board Unit Safety Testing: Saboteurs, Testing Strategy and Results

  • Leonardo Jesus Valdivia University of Navarra
  • Gonzalo Solas University of Navarra
  • Javier Añorga University of Navarra
  • Saioa Arrizabalaga University of Navarra
  • Iñigo Adin University of Navarra
  • Jaizki Mendizabal University of Navarra
Keywords: saboteur, fault injection, virtual laboratory, ETCS, on-board unit, testing strategy,


It is necessary to verify the faults tolerance of the European Train Control System (ETCS) on-board unit even if these faults are uncommon. Traditional test methods defined and used in ETCS do not allow to check this, so it is necessary to develop a new mechanism of tests. This paper presents the design and implementation of a saboteur applied to the railway sector. The main purpose of the saboteur is the fault injection in the communication interfaces. By means of a virtual laboratory it is possible to simulate actual train journeys to test the ETCS on-board unit. Making use of the saboteurs and the virtual laboratory it is possible to analyse the behaviour of the train in the presence of unexpected faults, and to verify that the decisions taken are correct to ensure the required safety level. Therefore, this work shows a testing strategy based on different kinds of train journeys when faults are injected, and the analysis of the results.

Author Biographies

Leonardo Jesus Valdivia, University of Navarra
Electronics and Communication, Ph.D.Candidate
Gonzalo Solas, University of Navarra
Electronics and Communication, Researcher
Javier Añorga, University of Navarra
Electronics and Communication, Researcher
Saioa Arrizabalaga, University of Navarra
Electronics and Communication, Researcher
Iñigo Adin, University of Navarra
Electronics and Communication, Researcher
Jaizki Mendizabal, University of Navarra
Electronics and Communication, Researcher


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How to Cite
Valdivia LJ, Solas G, Añorga J, Arrizabalaga S, Adin I, Mendizabal J. ETCS On-board Unit Safety Testing: Saboteurs, Testing Strategy and Results. PROMET [Internet]. 2017Apr.24 [cited 2019Nov.12];29(2):213-2. Available from: