Simulating Evacuation

In Greek mythology, the Trojan hero Aeneas saved his father by carrying him out of the burning ruins of Troy on his shoulders. The story of Aeneas has inspired the name of a new computer tool developed in Germany for simulating and optimizing passenger evacuation from ships. Aeneas offers shipyards and shipowners a means of performing fast and reliable analysis of the evacuation process, providing increased planning security at the early design stages of a newbuild project, as well as assisting ongoing safety management and training functions.

Aeneas is the product of technical cooperation between classification society Germanischer Lloyd and pedestrian flow simulation specialist TraffGo, an offshoot of the University of Duisburg.

It is designed to provide a realistic representation of evacuation processes by identifying optimum exit routes and possible bottlenecks. Fundamental to the whole are innovative computer models, known as 'agents', which each represent the main characteristics and actions of a passenger proceeding through the corridors, stairways, public spaces and decks of a ship in accordance with given scenarios.

Many yards and ship operators will regard applications of the system in the field of safety management, such as for crew training purposes and for the improvement of emergency preparedness, as potentially even more important than the obligatory IMO evacuation analysis, where required. The versatile tool can also be used for operational needs, as in determining boarding and disembarkation times, or assessing passenger flows in public spaces, for instance.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 26,  Oct 2002

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.