Better crisis management for critical infrastructures

SIMKAS 3D - Simulation of intersectoral cascade effects in the event of supply infrastructure failures

Ansicht Elektrizitätswerk bei Hamburg
© Jerzy Sawluk /

SIMKAS 3D: Avoiding cascade effects in the water, electricity, heat and gas infrastructure using Berlin as an example 

Supply infrastructures are linked together in a multitude of ways. Some interconnections only become apparent through unexpected crises. The SIMKAS 3D project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), investigates how crisis events proceed through cascade effects in the infrastructure systems. inter 3, together with Berlin’s supply companies and further project partners, is creating scenarios for possible disturbances to Berlin’s infrastructure systems through such cascade effects, and is developing strategies for better crisis management.

Creating scenarios, identifying hazards, improving crisis management

Possible routes for the spreading of disruptions – so-called cascade effects – through electricity, gas, heat and water supply lines as well as wastewater disposal lines are investigated. The created scenarios serve as a basis for improved cross-sector crisis management in cooperation with all service operators.

Approach: Virtual simulation and actual prevention of crises

To begin with, the various infrastructure systems are analysed. Subsequently, under the direction of inter 3, scenarios for initial events and their possible spreading routes are created and simulated. The starting point for a crisis scenario could, for example, be a terrorist attack or an environmental disaster. For each event, all relevant system elements must be identified and the successive impacts of the event investigated. Realistic images showing the progression of the developed scenario are displayed graphically in a 3D city model of Berlin using specially developed software. The simulator and the scenarios are put to the test in cooperation with all participating infrastructure operators.

Results: Practical benefit to companies and inhabitants of Berlin

SIMKAS 3D provides an effective tool which can contribute to the sustainable improvement of Berlin’s supply infrastructure crisis management. The infrastructure operators are given a decision making and communications platform to help prepare them better for a crisis event.

SIMKAS 3D: Simulation of intersectoral cascade effects in the event of supply infrastructure failures


Dr. Susanne Schön, +49(0)30-34 34 74 52

Axel Dierich, Tel. +49(0)30 34 34 74 49


Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF): im Rahmen des Programms: "Forschung für die zivilie Sicherheit"


Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Vattenfall, NBB Netzgesellschaft Berlin-Brandenburg, Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe, Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung Senatsverwaltung für Inneres und Sport


Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft der TU Berlin (ZTG: Systemanalyse und Projektkoordination), Institut für Geodäsie und Geoinformationstechnik der TU Berlin(3D-Modellierung), DHI WASY(Softwareentwicklung)




2009 – 2012