In reality, threat and damage situations are always concrete. Scientific models, new methods and technological solutions must therefore do justice to the real challenges and capture the interaction of technology, infrastructure, emergency forces and the population in practice. On the basis of realistic scenarios, Fraunhofer SIRIOS models the essential parameters of complex situations in order to make processes and boundary conditions controllable, to scale them to different levels and to be able to transfer procedures to other use cases in the medium term.

These are the two initial scenarios:

SIRIOS, Szenarien, 970x305px
shutterstock/ bouybin

Disruption of critical infrastructure during natural disasters

In the afternoon hours of a summer day, heavy thunderstorms and hail showers unload. Extreme rainfall quickly floods basements, subway stations, and streets as well as the low-lying junction of a substation for a distribution network of several city districts. This leads to a power outage! It affects a total of around 700,000 citizens in various parts of the city. After several hours, parts of the gas supply finally have to be shut off in a controlled manner. There are disruptions in the water and wastewater supply due to failed pumping stations. A multitude of other cascades follow: from the overload of the central emergency call system due to flooded cellars, injured and trapped people and traffic accidents, to the failure of the now overloaded mobile phone network, to the standstill of local rail transport and the gatherings of passengers seeking protection in train stations and bus stops.

Research questions for Fraunhofer SIRIOS include:

  • Which new warning methods and systems are most effective in a scenario like this?
  • Can the expansion of punctual damage in a supply network be precisely predicted by simulations and can particularly vulnerable points in the network be identified?
  • How does damage cascade from one network into a network connected to it (e.g., power and cellular)?
  • In the event of a disruption, what segmentations of a utility network (e.g., power grid) enable an intended shutdown with the lowest possible impact on the overall network?
  • How can rescue routes, the prioritization of rescue operations, and the selection of the safest and most efficient rescue tactics be improved through linked simulations on individual buildings (Building Information Modelling, BIM) or even at the level of city districts (3D city models)?
SIRIOS
istock/ Orbon Alija

Man-made incidents at major events

A summer weekend in a big city: A large number of events and demonstrations with a total of several thousand participants take place simultaneously at various locations in the city. A stage for amateur bands with a dance area is set up in a central square with beer benches, drink stands and snack bars behind it. There is a lively hustle and bustle among the visitors of the event. A few streets away, a cultural association with several bands moves in a star shape to another square to hold a concert there. On the sidewalks, onlookers stand and applaud, families with children wave to the musicians, others accompany them on their way to the concert. Little by little, more and more people arrive by public transport or bicycle. They stand in the ever-lengthening lines in front of the venue's entrance controls, laughing, shouting something to each other or chatting with the security personnel. Suddenly, there is the loud bang of an explosion!

Research questions for Fraunhofer SIRIOS include:

  • Attack or accident: How are threats identified, analyzed and evaluated ad hoc?
  • Can the objects or areas at risk be simulated sufficiently?
  • How can simulations support organizers and authorities in approving the event?
  • How can the consequences of the situation (number of injured, flight behavior, panic, etc.) be simulated in advance?
  • Which protective measures have to be taken, how do they take effect in the event of a attack, how are they simulated?
  • How can planning data be used in ad hoc situations?
  • How can the situation be controlled in the event of an emergency? Which resources can be made available to the emergency forces in the simulation?
  • How are external forces alerted and mobilized (considering the response time)?
  • To what extent can personal data/ smartphone data be used during the event to identify dangerous situations?