Žilina 17 December (TASR – Press Agency of the Slovak Republic) – Increase operational safety of tunnels in the motorway network in Slovakia in order to help the simulator of tunnel control that was presented at Žilina University in Žilina.

The project, financed by the Structural Funds of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport for the Structural Funds of the European Union (ASFEU) named Research Centre in transportation, has further assistance for data collection from service tunnels and processing, risk analysis, providing knowledge for design of new tunnels and science. “The investment exceeded € 500,000 and we are happy that we managed well within the target applied research project so that it will be necessary for practice. In National Highway Company – NDS they help us define the problems that they currently have and will have to be addressed, “said Head of Department of Technology, Management and Engineering (TMS), of Žilina University Ján Mikolaj.

National Highway Company (NDS) a.s. and its General Manager Mr. Milan Gajdoš welcome the project of simulator which was combined with the research practice. “We are expecting the solution to the research projects which will contribute to greater security in the operation of the tunnels. It has long been only Branisko tunnel on the motorway network. Being updated and more in terms of unfinished sections, respectively, of sections that will go into construction, it will have many more tunnels than before.

The tunnel is within the motorway network a place where they could have the most serious consequences of incidents. Precisely for this reason it is necessary that operators within the tunnel and professionals who deal with these situations are prepared to deal with them the best, “said Gajdoš.

By a Managing Director for Transport Technology in PPA ENGINEERING s.r.o. Mr. Igor Jamnický the simulator works like a computer programme. “It simulates the entire operation of the tunnel, all the plant and traffic in the tunnel in the form of 3D simulation video surveillance. All devices operate in reality.

They respond to feedback provider, to management algorithms that are programmed in the central control system of the tunnel. The downsizing the entire central control system of the tunnel is programmed in computers here. The operator sitting here feels like in a real workplace of the real tunnel “said Mr. Jamnický.

A Rector of Žilina University Ms. Tatiana Čorejová mentioned that the university has several simulators in other areas, but in this case this is a unique simulator, the first in Slovakia. “It can bring the improved cooperation with practice. It is a question of research for practice, not just research for research. And of course, it can be the added value for students. Not only for those who study technology and management structures. But all the designers who can find out what the tunnel and its operation mean. That it is not just some construction work. But it is a number of other professions involved in the creation of this information and security system, “she added.

A Managing Director of Výskumný ústav dopravný (Research Institute of Transport), VÚD, a.s. Žilina Mr. Ľubomír Palčák recalled that the tunnel control simulator is a part of the project in the Research Centre in transport – an office that was created by VÚD and Žilina University as a cooperation between the academic and the private sectors in the field of research.
“Even though there are more strict standards taken in the construction of tunnels, there is a great risk. If something happens, whether it is a traffic accident, fire or other technical problem, we have difficult access of rescue forces to the tunnel. And for example, in case of fire a tunnel become a chimney so the fire is spread very fast. And we also know of the great tragedies that happened in the past that for many years nothing happened in a tunnel and then it came – a single tragedy and it claimed dozens of lives. It is therefore very important to be prepared if there is something wrong. So this is why such devices are used”, Mr. Palčák, a Managing Director of VÚD concluded.

NOTE: TASR (Press Agency of the Slovak Republic) offers the audio records and photo gallery to the report.