Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2022-93
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2022-93
Submitted as: model description paper
07 Jun 2022
Submitted as: model description paper | 07 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

URANOS v1.0 – the Ultra Rapid Adaptable Neutron-Only Simulation for Environmental Research

Markus Köhli1,2, Martin Schrön3, Steffen Zacharias3, and Ulrich Schmidt1 Markus Köhli et al.
  • 1Physikalisches Institut, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2Physikalisches Institut, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • 3Dep. Monitoring and Exploration Technologies, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany

Abstract. The understanding of neutron transport by Monte-Carlo simulations led to major advancements towards precise interpretation of measurements. URANOS (Ultra Rapid Neutron-Only Simulation) is a free software package, which has been developed in the last years in a cooperation of Particle Physics and Environmental Sciences, specifically for the purposes of cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS). Its versatile user interface and input/output scheme tailored for CRNS applications offers hydrologists a straightforward access to model individual scenarios and to directly perform advanced neutron transport calculations. The geometry can be modeled layerwise, whereas in each layer a voxel geometry is extruded using a two-dimensional map from pixel images representing predefined materials and allowing to construct objects on the basis of pixel graphics without a 3D editor. It furthermore features predefined cosmic-ray neutron spectra and detector configurations and allows also a replication of important site characteristics of study areas – from a small pond to the catchment scale. The simulation thereby gives precise answers to questions like: From which location do neutrons originate? How do they propagate to the sensor? What is the neutron response to certain environmental changes? In recent years, URANOS has been successfully employed by a number of studies, for example, to calculate the cosmic-ray neutron footprint, signals in complex geometries like mobile applications on roads, urban environments and snow patterns.

Markus Köhli et al.

Status: open (until 02 Aug 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Markus Köhli et al.

Markus Köhli et al.

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Short summary
In the last decades, Monte Carlo codes were often consulted to study neutrons near the surface. As an alternative for the growing community of CRNS, we developed URANOS. The main model features are: tracking of particle histories from creation to detection, detector representations as layers or geometric shapes, a voxel-based geometry model and material setup based on color codes in ASCII matrices or bitmap images. The entire software is developed in C++ and features a graphical user interface.