End User: Dubai Road & Transport Authority
Location: Dubai, UAE
Start Date: April 2010
End Date: December 2010


Dubai’s RTA (Road and Transport Authority) were looking to launch the Dubai Metro to provide safe and comfortable transport around the populous emirate. Ultimately earning a Guinness Record for being the world’s longest driverless rail network spanning 75km with 49 stations across the Red and Green lines (another three lines are still in planning stages), the Dubai Metro is the first of its kind in the Arabian peninsula.
To fulfill the promise of this great undertaking, reliable partners were required to ensure strategic planning of safety solutions across every aspect. Avanceon were approached to design, procure, develop and commission a series of solutions across all the current under- and overground stations, including their Tunnel Ventilation System, Environmental Control System and Emergency Shutdown System.

To fulfill the promise of this great undertaking, reliable partners were required to ensure strategic planning of safety solutions across every aspect. Avanceon were approached to  design, procure, develop and commission a series of solutions across all the current underand overground stations, including their Tunnel Ventilation System, Environmental Control  System and Emergency Shutdown System.

Project Scope

Avanceon was mandated with the procurement, supply, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of the award-winning Dubai Metro of the Environment Control System and the Tunnel Ventilations System of the longest driverless and fully automated light rail network in the world.


Above and beyond, the impressive scope of the undertaking, tunnel ventilation systems ordinarily regulate airflow inside the four underground stations but another key functionality is to evacuate smoke from the station in case of fire and to control/operate all the emergency systems and equipment as per the tunnel design. These safety standards were at the heart of the entire project. This being said, one the major challenges for Avanceon stemmed from the fact that both metro lines overlap at two stations, a critical challenge was to integrate these two lines, whereby the Red Line was already functional and Avanceon had to integrate the Green Line system with the running Red Line system at these two stations.

The design and technologies needed to be forward-looking in the event that the other lines would be integrated seamlessly to the network in the near future. Another big challenge was to ensure software quality for such a massive project, which was being audited by an independent software ACCESSOR.


Avanceon’s bespoke solution had to be of the very highest safety standards, in order to meet and exceed the client’s expectations. The design was approved after a detailed scrutiny and series of safety audits, a system based on Rockwell Automation’s TUV certified  SIL-2 redundant Controllogix.

  • Environmental Control System
    One of the main differenciators with traditional ECS resides in the use of two separate networks: one dedicated to essential equipment on a separated redundant network and another non-essential on a separate redundant network.

    • ECS System Overview
      The Environmental Control System for Dubai Metro was designed for monitoring and control functions. The Control system was made to use the industrial Standard programmable controllers to control and to monitor the Station buildings Environmental  Control Systems with distributed I/O located around the stations and buildings.
  • Station smoke extraction system
  • Fresh Supply Air Fan
  • Motorized Smoke Damper
  • Control & Generator
  • Temperature Control
  • Lifts & Escalators
  • Chilled Water System
  • Underground Generator
  • Plumbing & Drainage Monitoring
  • Air Handling Unit routine
  • Communicating Type FCU routine
  • Stand alone Type FCU routine
  • Extract Fan Control routine
  • Chilled Waterpump routine
  • Heat exchanger routine
  • Pressurization Unit routine
  • SMDB routine
  • MCC routine
  • Primary Cabinet 01 ACCB
  • Primary Cabinet 02 ACCB
  • Sliding Doors and Station Entrance System
  • Smoke Extract Fan Control routine
  • FM200 signal routine
  • Station Air Conditioning System
  • Lift & Escalators System routine
  • Local Fire Alarm Panel routine
  • Lighting control panel routine
  • Fire Man override Panel routine
  • Dewatering Pump routine
  • Booster Pump routine
  • Sewage Pump routine
  • Hydrogen Sensor routine
  • Low Voltage Distribution System
  • Station Lighting System
  • Room Temperature Monitoring
  • The multi-service network provided by MHI was used to communicate between separate building ECS controllers. The ECS did not have a dedicated front end SCADA system, but interfaced to the OCS. SCADA system provided by MHI, the OCS SCADA system had the function to control and monitor E&M equipment through an interface with the ECS.

      • Tasks & Routines
        It was required by the client that only tasks are not station specific but only one task routins as a rule of thumb. All station specific elements of the program are defined in the task,which was configured to enable continuous cyclic polling of the software program. The system was to allow the task to get the inputs from the field devices and to perform the associated action as per the code and the updated outputs.

    A main program was also defined as a set of related routines and a collection of tags [i.e.known as local tags]. In other words, when a program is executed by a task, execution of logic starts at the configured main routine. Any of these routines were made to be able to access the local tags in the collection. The main program was to operate all the devices for the ECS. The program also comprised of routines for devices, i/o mapping, simulation,mode control, Modbus interface, hardware diagnostic.

    • Air Conditioning System
    • Smoke Extraction System
    • Lift and Escalators
    • Sliding Doors at Station Entrance
    • Low Voltage Distribution System
    • Chilled Water System
    • Lighting System
    • Room Temperature Monitoring
    • Under Ground Generator Monitoring
    • Uninterruptible Power Supply
    • Gas Suppression System
    • Tunnel Ventilation Systems
      The tunnel ventilation system [TVS] was designed for the underground stations and annex building located along the green lines of the Dubai Metro. These 11 stations and annexes are: Sala Al Din, Union Square, Baniyas Square, Al Ras, A Ghubiaba, Saeediya and Burjurman as well as annex 4, 6 and 7
      • TVS Scope
        The TVS was designed to control and monitor the tunnel lighting, the annex lighting, the tunnel signage, the tunnel drainage, the tunnel ventilation as well as the low voltage distribution systems. The TVS was based on a single i/o module system that enables communication over a redundant network, which would serve the functionality of SIL-2.
        The local control system included: the local system controllers [LCS], the interfacing with the motor control centers [MCC], the sensors and the field devices, the backup control panel [BCP]. Avanceon also developed the interface design of the TVS with other control systems, which mission was to ensure that all systems were capable of fully communicating, sending and receiving packets of data at high speed with tolerable data loss.
        The Tunnel Ventilation System Interfacing comprised: the OCS SCADA, Fire Alarm System, Back-up Control Panel, Tunnel Signage System and Tunnel Lighting System. The mid-tunnel ventilation system based on a push-pull concept includes an extra ventilation shaft in tunnel sections exceeding 1km.
        The TVS consisted of the following devices: AHU-IT, temperature sensors, tunnel ventilation fans, annex adit lobby pressurization fans, dampers, variable speed drives as well as tunnel ventilation operating modes, operations, temperature, control, safety integrity level, fire alarm system interface.


    Avanceon successfully commissioned the Tunnel Ventilation System, Environmental  Control System and Emergency Shutdown System for all the under & above ground  stations in this project. The smooth execution of the Red Line not only earned the trust of the project’s authority but also led to Avanceon’s nomination as the preferred subcontractor and system integrator for the Green Line project. Avanceon invested around  83,000 man hours making this by far the largest project for the recently listed company.

    Clients' Review

    “We were truly impressed with the professionalism and the responsiveness of Avanceon’s
    team. Upon successful completion of the Green Line project, we have awarded Avanceon
    with the Red Line”

    Mustapha Meer
    ETA, Project Manager.

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