VRSafety is a Virtual Reality (VR) application to be used in the oil, gas and process industry for the purpose of enhancing safety and risk communication as well as training.

The goal for this application is to improve safety through better training of personnel and better communication of risks between experts from different domains as well as the laymen. VRSafety will allow experts and non-experts to communicate relevant safety and risk topics in a more efficient way by utilising new media.

The user can define and explore different fire and explosion scenarios in an interactive manner. This software combines the use of advanced visualization of large geometric models of platforms, process plants, or factories with advanced CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software simulations of fires and explosions. Dynamic objects, like doors and pressure relief panels, can be opened or closed by means of natural hand and body gestures while exploring scenarios.

Bringing advanced simulation tools into VR
The petroleum industry has invested considerable amounts of resources in the development of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software simulation tools for consequence analysis in order to evaluate potential gas and fire hazards.

This project aims at bringing such simulation tools into a VR environment. The simulation tools addressed are FLACS, a gas dispersion and explosion simulator developed by GexCon, and Kameleon FireEx, a gas dispersion and fire simulator developed by ComputIT.

The VRSafety project is funded by StatoilHydro, in addition to the Research Council of Norway.

Features of VRSafety

  • A run time interface between the simulator codes and the VR application
  • Interactive control of fire and explosion scenarios
  • Definition of simulation parameters like ignition point, gas clouds as well as dynamic objects like doors that can be opened or closed by the user while the simulation is running..
  • Probes and sensors in the scenario can be configured to trigger changes in the simulator through feedback channels, while the simulation is running.
  • Interactive online viewing, animation and control of fire and explosion simulations while they run.
  • A range of visualisation tools that can be combined, including probes, iso-surfaces, particle traces and volume visualisation.
  • Several simulations can run simultaneously, and the user can switch between viewing the progress of them.
  • The simulations can be running on separate computers in the LAN.
  • Support for running in both immersive display setup and on the desktop.
  • Currently VRSafety is running on linux.
  • Support for screen-capture and generation of animations for documentation and later display.