The European Consortium of 22 Industrial, Research & Development laboratories and SME organisations across 9 countries
New Technologies for Tunnelling and Underground Works or, more simply, NeTTUN. It is the ambitious project for research and development project awarded by the European Commission for which €15 millions will be allocated, €10 millions with the Eurpean Commission contribution.
Born in September 13-14 2012, NeTTUN will enable milestone changes in the construction, management and maintenance of tunnels. This will be realised via a set of focused Work Packages (WPs) addressing key scientific and technical challenges:
- An advanced multi-sensor ground prediction system for the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) to enable fast, frequent and effective look-ahead during boring: the TULIPS ground prediction program has been developed and it will be tested for the first time on the TBM will excavate the new Turin-Lyon Railway Network;
- A robust robotic maintenance system that enables the automation of routine tasks (e.g. inspection and exchange of drag bits and disc cutters): the purpose is a reduction of about 80% of maintenance personnel so as to reduce the pressurized areas inside the tunnel by increasing , consequently, the safety;
- The design of cutter tools with effective increased lifetime: the research and development in the field of materials science is the fundamental aspect to get more long-lived and more resistant tools;
- A novel system for modeling of global risks on tunnel projects in order to quantify and manage the many uncertainties faced during tunnelling: on the ashes of the DAT (Decision Aids for Tunneling), that was developed by the American University M.I.T., the European project aims to create a new predictive times-costs method that integrates the past experience and exceeds that by more easiness and by minimizing the operator influence;
- A suite of systems for modeling and thus controlling the impact of tunnelling on surrounding structures: various steps are considered, from the numerical analyses with softwares to the analyses on real scale through the work of the Metro Line C in Rome;
- The creation of a Decision Support system for tunnel maintenance management.
The progress of the consortium are beginning to be evident but the work ahead is still long. What is certain is that, this time, Europe is united and pursues profitably the results.
Cited Source: nettun.org