FLORA – Flood risk assessment and computer simulation

Ralf Siemes, F. Jaskolla
Dornier Satellitensysteme GmbH, 88039 Friedrichshafen, Germany.
Tel.: +49-7545-801, Fax: +49-7545-844-11


Initial situation

The influence of man upon the general climate and the environment probably is only material in a few cases. However when floods occur as a result of storm or river overflow this change in frequency and severity is more obviously due to man’s influence especially when river corrections, dams, soil sealing are concerned. Although potential causes of flooding can be identified it is best dealt with by managing assets to limit expected damage. An important step is to be able to adequately simulate floods, assess the anticipated damage and use this as a damage prevention tool. The FLORA-System developed by Dornier was designed for both risk assessment and computer simulation.


In order to provide a sufficiently precise overview of the flood risk to be expected, statements have to be made on whether a defined area is endangered by flood, which objects within this area are threatened by the flood and how high the expected damage will be in the event of a flood. Thus, the main tasks of FLORA are defined by

  • the localisation of flood risks,
  • the quantification of the damage potential and
  • the visualisation of results.

Application areas

FLORA was developed only as a risk analysis tool for the insurance sector to determine the insurability of individual objects as well as the accumulation of risks. But there are user groups like planning authorities or auxiliaries. Major application areas are

  • Object and area-related determination of the damage potential
  • Preparation of flood protection measures, mission planning and support
  • Planning tasks (land use planning, determination of retention areas, etc.)


For meeting the different user requirements, FLORA provides comprehensive functions for the described application areas:

  • Analysis of individual and accumulated risks
  • Flood water mapping
  • Flood level simulation


FLORA is an easy-to-use tool for flood risk analysis which is available to a broad group of users. It evolved from earth-observation technology and requires actual imagery, especially from radar satellites.

During flood prevention, preparation and implementation of flood protection measures as well as in the assessment of damage potential, all informations are presented in a clear and easy-to-understand way.

The conducted analyses show quick and efficient results, thus considerably contributing to cost saving.