CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

The benefits of an app-based simulation system for CBRNe training

Written by Steven Pike

PlumeSIm-SMART Argon ElectronicsAs the use of toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) in industry has become more prevalent, so too has the risk of an accidental release which could have potentially devastating consequences for human life, the environment and critical infrastructure.

At the same time too, there is the very real threat, however small, of industrial chemicals being used as weapons by a terrorist group or lone agent.

Many of the chemicals produced for industrial purposes are inherently dangerous due to their reactive, flammable, explosive, toxic or carcinogenic properties. 

The toxic industrial gases elemental chlorine, anhydrous ammonia and hydrogen fluoride (often referred to as toxic inhalation hazards or TIHs) have been identified as being of particular concern from both a safety and security perspective. 

In the event that any significant quantity of these chemicals were to be discharged, whether due to an accident or a deliberate act, the resulting toxic gaseous plume would almost certainly have disastrous consequences for human life and the environment.

A case in point is the Union Carbide gas tragedy which occurred in Bhopal India in 1984.

The accidental leak of 45 tons of methyl isocyanate over the course of one night created a toxic plume that was responsible for the deaths of at least 3000 people and which injured more than 100,000.

Even today, the Bhopal gas disaster is still regarded as being the world's worst industrial accident.

It is not too difficult then to imagine the effects that a deliberate attack using similar types or quantities of chemicals might have on a densely populated civilian target. 

Training for chemical threats 

A crucial aspect of CBRNe training and preparedness is providing responders with the opportunity to experience first-hand the challenges of low probability / high risk events. 

The question though is how to effectively replicate the nature of chemical incidents in a manner that is both highly realistic and completely safe. 

What is also vital is to be able to conduct exercises that involve a wide variety of scenarios - from searches of clandestine laboratories to the detection of Chemical Improvised Explosive Devices or large-area survey, reconnaissance, threat assessment and decontamination.

When live chemical training is not an option, the use of simulation and simulator-based training tools can provide a powerful way to depict the powerful characteristics of chemical events without posing any risk to personnel, environment or infrastructure.

Simulator training systems offer the advantage of providing instructors with complete control of their exercises and of being able to set up a broad range of scenarios in any location.

For smaller organisations however, investment in substantial quantities of CBRNe training equipment may not always be feasible. 

In such situations, the use of an app-based training system such as PlumeSIM-SMART can provide an instantly accessible and cost-effective training solution. 

Gain instant access to world-class CBRNe training

Argon Electronics’ app-based training system, PlumeSIM-SMART, enables CBRNe instructors to offer practical and highly engaging wide-area, tabletop and live field exercise training without the need for any significant capital outlay or for the purchase of any additional equipment.

Trainers are able to rapidly deploy highly realistic scenarios involving toxic industrial chemicals, chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and radiological sources. 

Using app-based simulation instruments, trainees are able to experience all of the characteristics of an evolving threat environment as they manoeuvre through the exercise area tracked by GPS or  using a virtual gamepad for Tabletop exercises.

PlumeSIM-SMART offers the ability to simulate single or multiple threats, real-time chemical or radiation plume variation, changing meteorological conditions, hot spots, static emissions and hidden devices

The system facilitates training in the standard five-gas chemical system, radiation survey and personal dosimetry. 

There is also the option to subscribe to a chemical warfare simulation that has been designed around the use of the LCD3.3 and AP4C chemical detectors.

Enhanced learning outcomes

Having the ability to monitor, record and review trainee movement is a vital feature of an effective simulation training system. 

PlumeSIM-SMART  records all student movement in real time and offers dynamic After Action Review capability. 

Bread crumb trails also provide exercise controllers with vital data which can be used to review their trainees’ decision making processes, the time taken and how effectively they have communicated specific information. 

For Incident Commanders there is also the advantage of being able to demonstrate to the appropriate authorities that the desired level of competency has been achieved.

Request a PlumeSIM-SMART product demo

Argon Electronics' comprehensive subscription scheme offers a way for organisations and their associated stakeholders to experience the benefits of the world-class PlumeSIM-SMART training system.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of a PlumeSIM-SMART subscription, please contact the Argon team today to request your free product demonstration.

Chemical warfare agent training using simulators

Steven Pike

Written by Steven Pike

Steven Pike is the Founder and Managing Director of Argon Electronics (UK) Ltd. A graduate of the University of Hertfordshire, Steven has been awarded a number of international patents relating to the field of hazardous material training systems and technology.