RiskWare: a technical summary description

The RiskWare system provides and integrated framework for easy access to advanced tools of technological and environmental risk assessment, ranging from strategic planning to training and real-time emergency management.

RiskWare provides a flexible framework and set of components that can be configured to meet the information needs of a wide range of risk assessment and management tasks.

RiskWare functionality description

For a more detailed description and interface examples, please refer to:

The RiskWare Image Gallery

The HITERM Demonstration Cases

A slide-show of screendumps illustrating the basic modules;

A summary of the Seveso II related functionality a MS Word document);

A summary of the systems architecture and ongoing developments;

The on-line User Manuals (restricted access for licensed user and project participants only).

  RiskWare functionality

  • Integrated object data base management for hazardous chemicals (MSDS) and risk objects such as chemical plants, fuel depots, gas stations, airports, harbor installations, but also hospitals, fire engine depots, etc., linked to a

  • A geographic information system (GIS) for the management of spatial data and the preparation of background maps and

  • Document management based on XML/HTML with data base links that integrates GIS/CAD data, and simulations model results to generate and maintain Safety Reports and Alarm Plans as prescribed by 96/82/EC, Seveso II.

  • A suite of simulation and assessment models for strategic analysis and planning tasks, and fast emergency simulation linked to an

  • Embedded expert systems functionality for assessment and estimation tasks;

  • A real-time Emergency Management Expert System for operational guidance, that can provide the framework for the analytical components and data bases, including

  • Assessment and reporting and documentation functions as well as

  • External communication control such as the automatic sending of fax or e-mail messages with dynamically generated content.

  Data requirements

RiskWare requires the following basic data sets:

Geographical Background

background maps with administrative boundaries, landuse; satellite data or aerial photography and scanned maps can be used together with vector maps; digital elevation model (DEM) for complex terrain; the system can import data from all common GIS and IP systems;
road network (geometry) graph for a traffic routing model;

Population Distribution

gridded (usually by hectare) or associated with building block boundaries, required for exposure assessment; data on population centers such as shopping malls, schools, large office buildings, etc.

Risk Objects

hazardous installations chemical process plants, storage facilities, loading docks etc, as well as related relevant objects such as hospitals, fire stations, civil protection depots, shelters, etc..

Environmental Data

time-series of basic meteorological and hydrological data (half hourly or hourly to daily, depending on the variable), covering at least one year or the period of interest for the long-term and stochastic models used for strategic analysis): wind direction and speed, air temperature, mixing height, stability class, precipitation. Mixing height and stability class can be estimated, if necessary, using cloud cover and/or solar radiation data; hydrological and possibly oceanographic variables (flows, levels) for water bodies;
the system can be linked to on-line monitoring networks.

Emergency Management

Emergency Management rules and procedures that form the basis of the real-time expert systems Knowledge Base.

  System modules


is designed as a modular system; it can integrate a range of information resources:

  • Geographic background data including administrative divisions, land use and land cover, population data, transportation networks, water bodies, orography (DEMs), satellite imagery and aerial photography, that are managed with the embedded GIS;

  • Observation time-series data, including the linkage to on-line monitoring stations, and the statistical analysis of these time series data;

  • Risk Objects for a range of different types of hazardous installations or infra structural elements relevant for risk assessment and management tasks; an embedded rule-based expert system simplifies the task of estimating unknown properties and data;

  • Document management system that integrates expert system rules, data base, GIS, and simulations model to generate and maintain Safety Reports and Alarm Plans in XML/HTML format compliant with 96/82/EC, Seveso II.

  • Emergency simulation models, including the fully integrated (embedded)

    • spill and pool evaporation model (stochastic)
    • diagnostic 3D wind field model, providing input for a
    • dynamic multi-puff dispersion model,
    • dynamic 3D (multi-layer) Eulerian atmospheric dispersion model
    • explosion simulation (TNT and fuel-air charge blast model)
    • fire model (pool, trench, BLEVE) (stochastic)
    • 1D soil contamination model (stochastic)
    • dynamic surface water quality model
    • initial assessment model (Metodo Speditivo).

    to (optional) complex 3D Lagrangian models for dispersion of hazardous substances in the atmospheric or aquatic environment, which are available as client-server applications using external computer servers (supercomputers or workstations clusters).

    The latest built-in (fully embedded) model is an efficient dynamic 3D (Eulerian) code using a multi-layer wind field generated by the 3D diagnostic wind model DWM.

    Specific applications of these models include:

    • simulation of explosion (TNT and a fuel-air charge blast model)
    • simulation of chemical fires (pool, trench, BLEVE)
    • simulation of toxic spills (includes an evaporation model and subsequent atmospheric dispersion based on dynamic multi-puff model using a 3D wind field correction
    • simulation of soil/groundwater contamination
    • river contamination/fish kills.

    A range of additional or alternative models including a groundwater flow and transport model are in preparation.

  • Linkage to external models that require super-computer performance can be accomplished through a generic model communication interface based on TCP/IP and http.

  User interface

These main components are integrated with an interactive and graphical user interface designed for users with little or no computer experience, and for use under emergency conditions.

RiskWare supports both X11 (CDE) clients on workstations or PC with X11 emulation (required screen resolution: 1280*1024, 256 simultaneous colors) or (possibly remote, low-bandwidth) clients with Java enabled web browser software (in preparation, required screen resolution: 1024*768, 256 simultaneous colors).

  Hardware requirements and platform support

RiskWare is currently supported for UNIX servers (SUN Sparc/Solaris, IBM RS6000/AIX, HP Risc/HP-UX) and under Linux (Intel Pentium, Sparc). Java client support is platform independent and requires only a Java enabled browser or applet viewer.

For a RiskWare server, a minimum of 128 MB RAM and 128 MB swap space is recommended.

For a typical installation, about 2 GB disk space is required; disk space requirements depend on the amount of geographical data (in particular satellite images) and monitoring data.

A graphics resolution of 1280*1024 (256 simultaneous colors) is required for the X11 platforms; PC/NC based Java clients require 1024*768 pixels, 256 simultaneous colors.

Copyright 1995-2002 by:   ESS   Environmental Software and Services GmbH AUSTRIA