Environmental Risk Management
by Steffen Unger, Irene Gerharz, Matthias L. Jugel, Peter Mieth and Susanne Wottrich
Within the project HITERM (High-Performance Computing and Networking for Technological and Environmental Risk Management), a new generation of interactive risk assessment and management systems is being developed. Based on HPCN, the system will contain tools for the simulation of the accidental release of hazardous substances and the adaptive routing of hazardous transports. HITERM is a European co-operation project funded by the European Commission within the ESPRIT Programme.
The aim of the HITERM project is to reach better-than real time performance for the simulation of the accidental release of hazardous substances into the atmosphere, ground, or surface water. The developed HITERM system will support the user in the field of emergency management, emergency planning, and emergency training, both for transportation accidents and (Seveso-class) chemical process and storage plant accidents. Integrating environmental risk criteria and road information, the system will be able to simulate accident scenarios along the preferred and a number of alternative routes, and to determine the optimal routing (dynamic adaptive routing).
The simulation system HITERM is designed to meet the increasing demand for real-time information in environmental risk management. It can be used as a decision tool or as training tool, simulating and analysing differing risk scenarios and therefore improving the efficiency of any emergency planning. Moreover, the dynamic routing of hazardous goods provides an additional safety feature to the environment.
The HITERM System
The HITERM system is based on a distributed client-server architecture, using standard http protocols. It contains:
- real-time data acquisition systems such as transport telematic systems, satellite imagery, weather radar, observation stations including hand-held data acquisition systems, and video input
- HPCN simulation models, eg atmospheric dispersion models
- specialised expertise in form of multi-criteria optimization systems, rule-based expert systems, or neural nets
- multi-media clients, including local and networked X Windows servers, http clients, mobile clients and hand-held computers.
As the amount of information generated by the simulation system is considerable, its visualization tools are based on sophisticated HPC methods.
The field of environmental modelling involves considerable uncertainties, both in terms of model and parameter uncertainty, as well as concerning the input data. For that reason, sensitivity and uncertainty strategies in form of Monte-Carlo methods or methods based on Automatic Differentiation have to be integrated into the system.
Besides GMD Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology, Berlin, HITERM involves participants from Austria, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland. Among the planned case studies to test and demonstrate the capacities of the system are:
- dynamic adaptive routing (Portugal): transportation of hazardous cargo (petrol and diesel) by a vehicle fleet
- transportation accident simulation (Gotthard alpine corridor, Swiss): release of a hazardous substance into the atmosphere or into the ground water
- process plant accident (Region of Ponte San Pietro, Northern Italy): leeking or spilling of toxic or flammable substances into the environment.
More information about the HITERM project is available at http://www.first.gmd.de/applications/proj/hiterm_more.html
Steffen Unger - GMD
Tel: +49 30 6392 1816