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)?