ARGOS Functional Overview

ARGOS has support for several types of incidents (Nuclear, Radiological, Chemical and Biological), and for each type of incidents, there are specific models, data and functionality. However most of the ARGOS core functionality is common for the different incident types.

RIMPUFF Atmospheric Dispersion Model

RIMPUFF is the primary short/medium range model for ARGOS. The [Wind Energy department of DTU] developed this model. RIMPUFF was originally developed to be valid for short distances up to 30 km, but does now contain a scheme for parameterization of dispersion parameters up to several hundreds of kilometers from the source.

Result of a Rimpuff prognosis shown on a GIS map


The big advantage of RIMPUFF compared to many other dispersion models is that it runs fast on a standard computer.

RIMPUFF uses surface height to calculate the flow.


Based on the meteorological data RIMPUFF calculates gamma doses (inhalation dose, whole body dose etc.), air concentrations and ground deposition. Standard deposition models are used. These models are based on particle size.




Use of Real-Time Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP)


The use of a real-time weather prognosis for the dispersion calculations is an important feature of ARGOS.


This is not something the expert needs to worry about, when the disaster happens, as the weather prognosis is normally downloaded beforehand from the nearby Metrological office. But a prognosis can also be downloaded from the NOMADS website for any location in the world.


The NWP prognoses contain wind information for different heights over the ground, and an estimate of the boundary layer.

ARGOS can supplement the NWP data with input from meteorological towers or stations for adjusting the weather prognosis with the actual local conditions.


As an alternative to use NWP data, it is possible to enter the local meteorological situation manually using a met-data editor.

Finally it is possible to import rainfall radar images into the ARGOS database. Radar images are used as a better approximation to the actual condition than the precipitation forecast data from the NWP data.





Coupling to External Long Range Models


The use of a real-time weather prognosis for the dispersion calculations is an important feature of ARGOS.


The long-range atmospheric dispersion models are loosely coupled to ARGOS in the way that they can be started remotely at the Met-Office by request directly from ARGOS.


The long-range models currently supported are the “Danish Emergency Response Model of the Atmosphere” (DERMA), the Canadian “Modele Lagrangien de Dispersion de Particules d'Ordre 0” (MLDP0), the Norwegian “Severe Nuclear Accident Program” (SNAP) and the Swedish “Multiscale Atmospheric Transport and Chemistry Model” (MATCH).


When the calculations are finalized, ARGOS will download of the results for further procession and visualizations.


Urban Dispersion Model (URD)


In order to support CBR scenarios down to the street level in cities between buildings ARGOS incorporates the URD model.

ARGOS using the URD module for a simulation in Copenhagen.


URD is developed in a cooperation between [DTU], [DMI] and [FOI].


The buildings will reduce the range of the release while the local scale turbulence will in some spots create higher concentrations and spread the release in wider angles.


An important part of supporting the Ur-ban Dispersion is the 3D GIS module in ARGOS. The 3D view can show how the Puffs move in the Urban environment between the houses. The major advantage in this is to understand the prognosis.


ARGOS can bring in all buildings for a country, and then feed in the relevant building to the area of interest for the URD model and the 3D views.



GIS Support


ARGOS can display the results of dispersion prognoses, meteorological data, and many other kinds of data on GIS maps.


Complex information is visualized on a single easy-to-understand map – a very important feature when trying to understand and communicate prognosis results under emergencies.


ARGOS has real many GIS features. It is an open system and can import and export the GIS data between other systems as well as use standard GIS systems as Google, Microsoft, Open Street maps etc.

Demography Support


For specific areas of interest selected by the user, or specified by certain concentration levels or by safety distances – ARGOS is able to provide information on day- and nighttime inhabitants of the area as well as a calculation of the affected addresses in the area. It is also possible to get on information regarding institutions of interest – hospitals, cinemas, stadiums, kindergartens, schools etc. – together with relevant information regarding the number of people possibly affected at the particular institution.


ARGOS Whitepaper


Contact PDC-ARGOS  for a further detailled and technical description of the ARGOS solution.


  • ARGOS supports the emergency organization to make the best possible decisions in case of a CBRN incident.
  • ARGOS provides situation awareness, overview, visibility and insights.
  • ARGOS provides input for proper dimensioning the emergency response organization
  • By running an ARGOS prognosis, you can give early information about how the situation will evolve.