CBRN solutions [explained]

 CBRN/HazMat incidents are complex to detect and combat. From industrial accidents to malicious releases of material, these events can take place in a range of environments. Urban incidents in particular are becoming an increasing concern.

The urban environment introduces many additional and influential factors. With large populations nearby, complex city landscapes, and extra coordination of response resources, planning and response is even more challenging.

Robust solutions are therefore required to address these growing considerations, with more comprehensive and intelligent tools. Riskaware’s CBRN/HazMat incident modelling platform, and the tools which power it, are designed to tackle the complexity of incidents no matter where they occur. Their diverse modelling capabilities empower first responders, resilience planners, military and government users to create robust and resilient response strategies that overcome modern urban challenges.

In this article, we introduce you to Riskaware’s range of solutions and how they help mitigate the impacts of CBRN/HazMat events.

Why are robust CBRN solutions important?

CBRN and HazMat solutions have always been important. They help to keep people and assets protected from potential threats that could cause great harm. As the world we live in constantly changes, it is important that these solutions continue to be developed and improved to meet evolving threats.

Armed with the right tools, agencies can remain confidently aware, prepared and ready to respond to these threats, whether they be accidental or malicious in nature.

What are Riskaware’s CBRN solutions? 

Riskaware provide many different solutions for CBRN modelling and analysis, that work together to generate important situational awareness. Their aim is to provide timely and relevant intelligence to help users deploy effective emergency response, as well as a flexible modelling toolkit to develop robust planning, response and mitigation strategies.

THE HASP SUITE

The HASP Suite is a package made up of a number of tools, developed with the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and actively used today in UK Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defense solutions. Each tool in the suite has a different focus, and can be utilised on their own or in concert to give a more comprehensive and complete picture of a CBRN incident.

The HASP Suite consists of the following tools:

  • Urban Dispersion Model (UDM): Predicts the dispersion and movements of contaminant releases within urban and non-urban environments.
  • Urban Sub-System (USS): Coordinates and integrates indoor and outdoor dispersion models, allowing the mapping of material transfers between environments.
  • Geographical and Environmental Database Information System (GEDIS): Manages, analyses and provides geospatial data for a range of applications, including the other HASP Suite components.
  • Source Term Estimation (STE2): Provides real-time data about detected CBRN/HazMat releases, including source location estimation and downwind hazard forecasting.
  • Sensor Placement Tool (SPT): Optimises CBRN/sensor deployment strategies through the simulation of large numbers of potential threat/incident scenarios.

URBANAWARE

UrbanAware is our CBRN/HazMat situational awareness and decision support tool. The UrbanAware platform facilitates planning, training and response for CBRN events, combining modern software configuration and deployment paradigms with the validated and verified HASP Suite.

For the first time, the HASP Suite capabilities are available as a collective solution, brought together under an intuitive web-based interface to be utilised by a wider user community. It allows operational users to obtain actionable intelligence quickly and enables analysts to perform detailed, in-depth modelling studies with cutting-edge technology.

The use of Modelling and Simulation as a Service (MSaaS) gives UrbanAware a scalable architecture – it has the flexibility to be deployed in multiple configurations for a wide range of use cases. With UrbanAware, results can be obtained quickly, and easily shared between users and responders to maximise team awareness.

For analytical and operational applications alike, UrbanAware is a comprehensive information management tool providing actionable intelligence throughout the life cycle of an incident:

Before – High-fidelity modelling can be used to simulate incidents under a range of circumstances. This enables agencies and operators to plan, prepare and train for potential future events.

During – Fast-running models with comprehensive data services provide situational awareness and hazard predictions in a timely manner. Additional command capabilities also enable decision makers to plan elements of a response to an incident, such as the implementation of cordons and evacuation plans.

After – After an incident has occurred, UrbanAware facilitates the analysis and evaluation of event impact and response. Further modelling can be used to help target recovery efforts, such as decontamination. Then comprehensive logging capabilities can be employed to evaluate what mitigation measures should be taken, such as ‘hot washes’ and audits. For example, these analyses can help determine areas to cordon and decontaminate during recovery.

How do Riskaware’s CBRN solutions help to mitigate the impacts of CBRN incidents? 

The purpose of our CBRN/HazMat software and tools is to aid the mitigation of the potential impacts caused by these events. We aim to arm people with comprehensive, useful knowledge about an incident – whether hypothetical or actual – to help them reduce its consequences on the environment, on people, and on assets.

Our solutions help users do this more effectively by providing a 360° view of an incident and end-to-end decision and response support.

How our tools help mitigate CBRN incident impacts:

TRAINING AND PLANNING

Modelling and forecasting tools can be used to inform and enhance training and planning activities. Using a simulation of a hypothetical CBRN/HazMat incident, users can assess the potential impact and risk. This allows them to create response strategies for different scenarios in advance, leading to more efficient operations. This further leads to fewer casualties and better public protection.

These prepared strategies and simulations can then be used to train emergency services, military, and other first responder groups. Teams are therefore more prepared for any potential incident and better understand the appropriate actions that need taken.

Modelling tools can also be used to better inform the deployment and operation of detection equipment. Tools such as the HASP Suite’s SPT can optimise the deployment of sensors around a site or other area, to maximise the probability of detection of a release of hazardous material. This could then be combined with a tool such as STE which can monitor these sensors and, when triggered, automatically initiate analysis and intelligence gathering activities.

TIMELY RESPONSE

Timely analysis of an incident using our CBRN solutions helps decrease the consequences of an event overall. The quicker response teams can understand the incident and take action, the more lives they can protect, and damage they can mitigate.

The fast-running capabilities made available by the HASP Suite enable rapid modelling results and analysis. Alongside the intelligence provided by UrbanAware, users gain an understanding of the full operational picture of an incident. Additional features such as easy data sharing and dissemination further facilitate increased effectiveness from response activities, independently and between teams.

Modelling the potential effects of a hazard into the future also enables more proactive strategies, so an incident can be combatted more quickly and effectively. For example, by obtaining an accurate and timely prediction of the evolution of a plume following a CBRN/HazMat release, responders can be more efficient in their operations and more accurately target deployed resources.

RELATED: CBRN: How modelling supports emergency incident response

COMPLETE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

Our variety of tools and solutions provide detailed intelligence on many different aspects of a threat for complete situational awareness.

Using different sources of data, proven models and data fusion techniques, our solutions provide a well-rounded view of an incident. This helps users fully understand an incident’s behaviour and characteristics, so they can make timely, informed decisions.

The ability to provide data before, during, and after an incident means users can benefit from situational awareness at every stage. UrbanAware tools can not only analyse and forecast the impacts of an incident, but also predict behaviour for advanced preparation. This enables teams to act proactively and with intent at every step. 

What is unique about Riskaware’s offering and approach in the wider CBRN mitigation space? 

Riskaware has extensive experience and knowledge of the defence sector. What is unique is our ability to bring this trusted expertise into a civilian context, offering advanced military-developed capabilities to a wide range of applications.

With CBRN/HazMat response, speed is key – our software is written with this in mind. Riskaware tools can be configured to provide the timely responses that emergencies require, producing results promptly so users have the insights they need, when they need them. Our models are also capable of operating with high fidelity, enabling in-depth analyses and investigations to be carried out with confidence.

As well as integrating HASP Suite and UrbanAware solutions, Riskaware also exploits a wide range of external data sources. Our solutions integrate with hardware, such as detector equipment, and open-source databases, such as those containing meteorological, cartographic, and population data. Combined with our data ingestion and fusion capabilities, this enables us to provide a more complete picture of an event and its potential impact.

What are Riskaware’s CBRN credentials? 

We have a long history working with key players in the defence industry, such as Dstl, the US Department of Defense, and NATO. We continually collaborate with these agencies to develop software and capabilities that meet specific needs. Many of our models or solutions have been created with and are actively used by these partners.

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Our team has diverse expertise including CBRN, mathematical software, physics, user experience, data visualisation and modelling to name a few. Bringing these many skills together, we create robust and comprehensive solutions to combat difficult challenges. Contact us to find out more.

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Get in contact with us by filling out the form or call the office on +44 (0) 117 929 1058 and a member of our team would be happy to help.