Potential Incident Simulation, Control and Evaluation System (PISCES2)

Today, the problem of accident rate on ships carrying liquid cargoes, remains an important issue. Cargo handling/ballasting and auxiliary operations simulators are the only means of training qualified liquid cargo tanker and gas carrier personnel in the tasks required to perform their functions safely and efficiently.

PISCES2 is an incident response simulator intended for preparing and conducting command centre exercises and area drills. The application was primarily developed to support exercises focusing on oil spill response.

Transas is currently cooperating with research organizations to include mathematical models of other types of incidents (such as floods, forest fires and terrorist acts).

Key functions

  • allows for integration of information from diverse sources;
  • essential for response planning, decision-making and overall operational control;
  • fully compliant with the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90);
  • includes a Dynamic Simulation Module for emergency response drills and training exercises;
  • based on the PISCES solutions originally developed as a simulation tool for the Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) of US Coast Guard;
  • networked configuration for interactive operation of multiple workstations;
  • graphic display of deployed response resources and incident situation using the world collection of Transas TX-97 vector electronic charts and other map formats;
  • integrates with Navi-Trainer navigational simulator for 3-D visualization of oil spill and response resources;
  • mathematical models predict trajectory, weathering and shoreline impact of oil or chemical spills in waterways; forecast downwind location and threat level of airborne toxic substances resulting from chemical spills based on the NOAA developed ALOHA model;
  • capable of interface to position reporting systems (VTS, AIS);
  • databases for resources, at-risk facilities and sensitive areas, weather, tide and current conditions, event logging and exercise scripting;
  • calculation of operational costs based on individual resource costs and usage time;
  • real-time/fast-time simulation.

Incident-specific response resources

  • response resources include vehicles, vessels, aircraft, personnel,booms, skimmers, dispersant applications equipment, firefighting equipment, Search and Rescue assets, etc.;
  • resource Database holds individual records of response resources with their detailed characteristics. The database can be accessed from any workstation in the system;
  • conducting realistic exercises and drills;
  • real-world vehicles or vessels can be tracked on the chart display, alongside simulated resources;
  • automatic on-screen notification to the operator on simulated resource arrival.

Geographic information system (GIS)

GIS provides geo-referenced data and supplies decision-makers with up-to-date information on the event status, as well as resource movement and deployment.Apart from the Transas world collection of TX-97 vector electronic nautical charts, PISCES2 can view other map formats, including both nautical charts (S-57, ARCS, BSB) and land maps (geo-referenced topographical maps, municipal maps, aerial and survey photographs, satellite imagery).

Debriefing facility

PISCES2 provides the capability of developing, conducting and debriefing realistic incident response exercises, all in one application.The application’s Chart and text-based Status Windows can be directed to Large Screen Displays. This capability lends itself to providing informative Command Post status displays and is useful for post-exercise debriefing sessions.

Oil spill simulation

  • modeling of the dynamic reaction to the activities of response facilities, their quantitative assessment and results;
  • simulated processes include: oil spread, Oil spill simulationevaporation, sinking in the water column, burn-off, the pollutant’s interaction with coastline, booms, skimmers and chemical dispersants;
  • user editing of environmental conditions, including air temperature, wind speed and direction, wave height, current set and drift, as well as water temperature and salinity.

Chemical spill air plume display

  • output of the mathematical model within NOAA’s ALOHA program can be displayed, with or without an oil-spill incident or other event occurring;Chemical spill air plume display
  • the source of the air plume may be located within the floating product mass, or at any other user-defined location;
  • it is possible to display two separate incidents simultaneously, i.e. an oil spill and an airborne chemical release.

Single-user or multi-user operation

PISCES2 can be operated as a single-user application suitable for desktop exercises and training corporate response managers. If configured as a multi-user system of several workstations connected via a Local Area Network, PISCES2 can support a training class comprising a Primary Instructor workplace and multiple additional workstations.

PISCES2 can be deployed to manage field exercises involving real-world incident response resources: the networked configuration provides multiuser access to the databases, charts and maps, resource control, and data input functions. Workstations can be located in the Command Post and the servers can be accessed by remote users, including field units.