CBRN Response Simulator

First responders face huge challenges while responding to CBRN incidents. To be able to overcome these challenges they need to conduct regular training with CBRN scenarios. But how can first responders realistically train for scenarios that deal with toxic substances? Live-agent training is expensive and difficult to organize. So what would an ideal CBRN training environment look like? Firstly, the CBRN exercise should be realistic and dynamic. An exercise should be based on a simulated threat that is calculated in real-time, while allowing for flexibility with regard to location and scenario setup. Secondly, train as you fight. And finally, trainees should be focused on performing their duties and should not be concerned with the training system. A training tool is needed that is easy to set up and is capable of simulating threats in the real world while being unobtrusive in use. This is the Prometech CBRN Response Simulator.

Prometech uses an innovative approach to tackle the aforementioned issues. The REALM platform models CBRN sensors on mobile devices. Off-the-shelf proven technology is used – such as tablets/smartphones and their built-in positioning and networking capabilities – to organize exercises. One such mobile device can be used to simulate different types and brands of sensors, without requiring additional (and costly) hardware. To make the training exercise realistic, the actual threat must be properly simulated. Prometech accomplishes this by modeling a CBRN source, which produces an agent during the exercise. An instructor can determine the location and size of the source and is able to change these properties on-the-fly. The training tool will let the agent disperse over the training area, while taking into account local concentration fluctuations, urban terrain and heavy gasses (when required).

Using the location of the first responders and the simulated CBRN source, it is possible to calculate what concentration they encounter during the exercise. The sensor simulated on the mobile device carried by field users will display this concentration reading. The first responder can then perform his duties based on these sensor readings. Furthermore it is possible to predict whether the first responder (or civilians in the training area) would get toxic effects because of the dose of agent he or she encountered during the training. The mobile device can display what his physical well-being should be during the training. The training tool incorporates GIS-based instructor and debriefing tools with playback capability.

This is a first step towards the development of a true augmented reality training simulator. By using augmented reality, the simulation is able to manipulate the trainee’s perception of reality through the use of hand-held or wearable technology. For example, by wearing a heads-up display (HUD) the trainee would not only see his environment, but also another 3D reality projected on top of it. This is the future of disaster management training.