COMPAS - Real-Time Decision Support System for Unexpected Releases and Emergency Response Management
Wherever hazardous materials are produced, stored and transported accidents can always occur. To protect people and the environment the emergency services, industry and the authorities must all be prepared for these exceptional circumstances. Plans for risk prevention, trained manpower and efficient data processing are all required. Prerequisites for effective response to an emergency are a rapid and reliable diagnosis of the event and predictions of its development. COMPAS shows you in real-time the affected areas, and what is to be expected. The output can be used immediately both in decision making and in keeping the public properly informed. COMPAS requires only a minimum of manual input for that.
COMPAS provides you with a summary of the emergency situation as soon as it is notified and even when little event-specific data is available. When did it happen? Where did it happen? What happened? COMPAS allows you to answer these important questions quickly and reliably. And yet COMPAS is easy to operate. The clear, menu-driven user interface guarantees reliable operation even in the stress of an emergency.
Dispersion calculations are made automatically every five minutes and are continually adjusted based on incoming measurement data. In each computation COMPAS automatically calculates forecasts of how the situation will develop, assuming constant dispersion conditions. In addition COMPAS allows a user-defined forecast to be made on the basis of constant or changing meteorological conditions. You can also enter the time at which the release ended or will end. Measurement and rescue teams can be quickly directed to the critical areas.
COMPAS is based on site-specific emergency scenarios and thus helps you to evaluate potential risks and precautionary measures. The relevant information on hazardous materials and facilities and on potentially endangered locations are stored in a database. You have direct access to this data in an emergency.
COMPAS uses a release model to calculate the chronological development of a release. COMPAS makes a basic distinction between a sudden and a continuous release. The conditions under which the substance is present are important for determining the quantity released. In the case of compressed liquefied gas, COMPAS allows for the fact that some of the substance will immediately vaporise on being exposed to atmospheric pressure (flash vaporisation). As with cryogenically liquefied gas, the remainder forms a pool at boiling point. Vaporisation of this boiling liquid occurs much faster than the gradual evaporation of a normal liquid. On release of a heavy gas a VDI Guideline heavy-gas model is run ahead of the dispersion modelling. This model assumes a dispersion of the heavy-gas cloud or plume near ground level. Once the heavy-gas cloud or plume has thinned out sufficiently, the substance behaves as an ordinary gas and is carried away by the wind. The heavy-gas model has been augmented by a heavy-gas jet model for the expulsion of a heavy gas from a container. Each time the release type information, e.g. the container size or the material designation, is changed, the quantity released is recalculated automatically.