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Price: $14,000.00. Includes licenses to both flat and complex terrain versions. Multi-license discounts. Short term leases.
Item Number: 1001
The CHARMĀ® software is a software application that calculates and predicts the movement and concentration of airborne plumes from released chemicals due to air dispersion and transport; thermal radiation impacts from BLEVEs, pool fires, and jet fires; and explosion overpressures from mechanical and vapor cloud explosions. Source terms are calculated from observable data input (e.g. temperature, pressure, hole size, etc.). Results are available in tables as well as 2D and 3D graphics.

CHARM comes in two versions. Both are available under a single license. One version is a flat terrain puff model. The other is a complex terrain grid model. The flat terrain version lends itself to fast what if analysis. Input parameters can be easily changed with the effects seen quickly. The complex terrain version is designed for more detailed analysis.
Purchase of a new license includes technical support for a year. After the first year paying an annual maintenance fee continues the technical support and allows the use of all updates.

The input required for a scenario to be run is a release description and meteorological parameters. For the complex terrain version, a grid defining the region to be calculated also needs to be supplied.

Impact (concentration, thermal radiation, or explosion overpressure) history at specified locations can also be generated. The user can either double click in the window or specify a distance and angle from the release site for calculating the impact history. Both versions provide 3D displays of the impact area with maps.

The flat terrain version of CHARM is designed to simulate the release from a single source. The complex terrain version is much more complete and can handle multiple sources and species. They both provide calculations of air transport and dispersion, mechanical and vapor cloud explosions, and BLEVE, jet fire, and pool fire radiation.

Visit YouTube to some some videos on using CHARM, especially the complex-terrain version.

Both versions include the following capabilities:

  • Editor for adding/editing chemicals.
  • Editor for adding maps.
  • Time varying emission rates.
  • Two-phase releases.
  • Releases from containment, evaporating pools, and user-defined rates.
  • Time varying meteorology.
  • Real-time meteorology is available, if a data collection system is present.
  • Import maps automatically from the Internet.
  • Export footprints in ASCII or ESRI Shape files.
  • An Application Programming Interface (API) exists for incorporating all CHARM functionality into other Windows programs.

A list of the major features of the complex terrain version is:

  • The effect of 3-dimensional terrain on the wind field and dispersion over an area.
  • Averaging time is included in all concentration results.
  • All outputs can be displayed in 3-D. This includes fires and explosions as well as concentration impacts.
  • Vertical cross-sections can be displayed for the region along any user drawn line.
  • Probability of Fatality (if probit parameters are provided), Dose, Toxic Load, and Thermal Dose impacts can be displayed like any other impact.
  • Editor is capable of defining grids by importing DEM and land use data available over the Internet from the USGS, the Globe Project, and other sources. A variety of file formats, including DEM and GeoTiff can be read.
  • Receptor height for plan views can be either in MSL altitude or altitude above surface.
  • Source location can be defined as occurring over a track defined by x (longitude), y (latitude), z, and time.
  • Maps can be superimposed over the 3-D terrain.
  • A graphics program is available to show terrain, impacts, and maps using DirectX for more realistic displays.
  • The advection/dispersion calculation is done over the 3 dimensional grid using a finite difference solution.
  • A scenario and its calculations can be saved in a separate set of files so recalculation is not required.
  • Multiple release sites, each with a different species, can be modeled in one run.
  • Each release can be at a different time in one scenario.
  • Multiple meteorological sites.
  • Liquid releases can be allowed to flow with the terrain when forming pools. 
  • A source can be particles with a user-defined size distribution.  Concentrations and deposition amount can be displayed.
  • Particles can coagulate, evaporate/condense, be created from chemical reactions, and fall to the ground.
  • Convective heat transfer from the surface into the plume is considered.
  • Chemical reactions can be calculated. Reaction rates can vary with temperature, solar radiation, particle size, or keyed to air and water vapor.
  • Chemical reactions can be edited by the user.
  • The 3-D calculation grid can contain nested grids.
  • The nested grids can be user defined or automatically created by CHARM.
  • The 3-D grid can represent rooms, piping, or other objects not attached to the ground.
  • Export grid information in ASCII and BREEZE files.
  • Create Google Earth files (kml/kmz) of buildings/objects, 2D, and 3D impacts.
  • Nuclear radiation impacts from nuclides in the emission.
  • Nuclide and mass fraction makeup of an emission can be specified.
  • Radiation rate and dose calculated and displayed in 2D, 3D, and tables.

Product Reviews

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(21 Ratings, 4 Reviews) Average Rating:
Premier Vapor Dispersion Modeling Tool
Kevin Sloan (Reston, VA) 4/10/2014 10:52 AM
Kevin Sloan International Launch Services (Reston, VA) ILS recently leased the CHARM and CHARM 11 software in order to perform analysis of our launch site. Mark Eltgroth was extremely helpful in getting us up and working with the software and was very responsive to the questions we had while we were performing our analysis. Unlike other software we found, CHARM and CHARM 11 software provides the ability to customize the inputs for our exact environment and needs.
CHARM - Sophisticated modeling tool
Zeshan Ahmed (Karachi, Pakistan) 4/3/2014 1:22 PM
I have been using CHARM for years but off and on. It is very good modeling tool specially its 3D visualization in CHARM complex terrain version. I have used it in conjunction with portable met station WEATHERPAK and with NWS real time data through meteorological interface METINTER. Many options are still to be explored as I am not very frequent user like Tigermap utility and Google Sketch up file to create building impact. My overall experience is very good.
Excellent and powerful dispersion modeling tool
Abdul Samad (Qatar Petrochemical Company, Qatar) 4/2/2014 1:18 AM
CHARM is a an excellent tool for estimating an impact of toxic vapor release, pool fire and explosion. Its graphics representation capabilities along with flexibility of defining and handling more than one release at a time is outstanding. Quick technical support has always surprised us. In the last one year we have internally used this tool to relocate the chemical storage to a safe location and to improve on the QRA scenarios by proposing adequate process modification to reduce impact the release/fire scenarios.
Extremely Powerful, Flexible Modeling Tool
Brian Patterson (Portland, Oregon) 3/27/2014 11:56 AM
The CHARM modeling package provides very powerful tools for simulating and visualizing pollutant and thermal releases. Favorite features include the ability to simulate releases of complex mixtures of substances, the ability to track multiple plume parameters (e.g. gas concentration, particulate concentration, and temperature) in a single model run, and the accounting of complex terrain in the development of the simulation wind field (complex terrain version of the model). The software support provided by Dr. Eltgroth has also been invaluable, with timely technical support and the willingness to add model features in some cases. Overall, I would highly recommend this model to anyone looking for realistic ambient release simulations. Brian Patterson, Ph.D. Golder Associates Inc.