Mauskat Logo

Measuring system for the determination of the dispersal of hazardous materials in critical infrastructures and complex buildings for the prevention of civil disasters (MAusKat)

Project duration: May 2011 -  April 2014
Project coordinator: Prof. Dr. Andreas Pflitsch
Funding: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Project management: VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH

Aims of the project

Disasters in complex buildings or traffic infrastructures have on commonality: The possibilities for escape and rescue are limited and overlap almost completely with the potential paths of dispersal of accidently or wilfully released toxic gases.
Subway systems, airports, hospitals, shopping malls and high-rise buildings as well as all other complex building structures represent an increased risk potential. Examples of incidents with limited (self-) rescue opportunities in complex infrastructures are the fire in the Daegu (South Korea) subway 2003, the high-rise fire in Shanghai on November 15 2010 and the airport fire in Düsseldorf (Germany) on April 11 1996. In cases like these, escape routes blocked by smoke and/or fire as well as insufficient or improper rescue plans, often result in a high number of casualties.
Furthermore complex infrastructures have a high risk of becoming the target of terrorists, as several attacks, like on the Tokyo subway 1995, the bombings in Madrid 2004, London 2005, Moskau 2004, 2010 (Metro) and 2011 (airport), have shown.
The main goal of the project is the improvement of escape and rescue possibilities by supplying information on the potential as well as the prevailing conditions of airflow- and dispersal.
For this purpose the project consortium develops an integrated measurement and analysis system, which will allow determining the paths of dispersal of gases or airborne particles and the resulting contamination for different situations (e. g. with or without the use of a ventilation system, for different weather conditions). The system is designed to cover large infrastructures such as a complete subway system or a large airport and to analyze dispersal over a timespan of several days. It will deal with semi closed and closed structures.
The system will provide information necessary to assess which parts of the infrastructure are most likely to be affected in case of an emergency. This information can be used before an incident occurs to test and improve existing emergency response plans, optimize escape routes and evacuation trainings. Also weak points in the physical structure of the infrastructure can be identified and different solution approaches can be tested using dispersal simulations.
The development of the MAusKAT system is accompanied by a demand and cost analysis, which will evaluate the acceptance among the operating companies and the general public.