Project Info :

In the Basque Country, a high-speed train has been under construction since 2006 with the goal of connecting the three capitals in the autonomous region, Bilbao, Vitoria and Sant Sebastian, for both passenger and cargo transport.

A network of 172 kilometres of high-speed railways includes the construction of the long tunnel east of Zumárraga. Bioaccez is participating in this project to automate control of worker safety inside the tunnels.

Just like any project this size, it comes with the dangers inherent in underground excavation, with the presence of heavy machinery and constant vehicle movement every day. Likewise, the tunnel is being built with excavation machines, but when needed, explosive methods are also used, and therefore control of safety is absolutely essential.
Before Bioaccez joined the project, workers were tracked manually. Specifically, each person who entered the tunnel had a card that they left in a box at the entrance and collected when they left. In this way, the heads of security – in an office one kilometre away from the tunnel entrance – had to physically go to the box to check who was inside the tunnel.

With the goal of automating the process, we at Bioaccez supplied a system that included not only an active tag for the workers but also a set of antennas and receivers that can locate them in the tunnels. These receivers capture the presence of the workers and send it to the construction company offices via 3G.

The active tag worn by the workers – on their helmet or in their jacket pocket – allows the office to know the location of each worker in real time. These tags send information every second, and a tag of this kind has more than 4 years of life. Each receiver is connected to a high-performance, multidirectional 2.4 GHz antenna. A pair of these receivers is located at the entrance to the tunnel and detects the workers as they enter and leave it.

The long-distance RFID tags along with the Transeo-Plus software management system allow the managers to exhaustively track the security of the site at all times and therefore minimise the risks inherent to an intervention of this kind. This software is executed in an SQL environment and is accessible securely from the IP network.

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