HEC-RAS is the Hydrologic Engineering Center's River Analysis System. This is a government-operated software which is designed for use analyzing rivers.
The software has several key features. You c...an perform steady flow calculations in one dimension, or you can perform both one and two-dimensional calculations regarding unsteady flow. You can do computations on the rate of sediment transport and mobile beds. In addition, there's a modeling component of the software which allows you to explore water quality and water temperature.
HEC-RAS was designed to increase the technical capabilities of USACE regarding water resources planning, water resources management, and hydrologic engineering. Not only is it an important tool with regard to water management, but it's important when considering safety issues like the structural integrity of dams and the potential for flooding.
HEC-RAS takes the academic expertise of water experts in the academic field, the mechanical expertise of hydrologic engineers, and the hands-on expertise of planning professionals, and combines them into one software. The data and analytics provided by the software can save hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The HEC-RAS software systems are easy to learn as well. There are comprehensive published manuals explaining every aspect of the software, its features, and how to navigate the computer interface. The software's procedures and manuals have been made available to water professionals throughout the world using a technology transfer program. In short, HEC-RAS can be optimized and utilized by any water management professional, not just US-based ones.
HEC-RAS is free to use for people inside and outside of the US, and the USACE website provides easily accessible download links. Individuals who are not part of the US Army Corps of Engineers cannot receive support or user assistance from the developers, however.
HEC-RAS utilizes a graphical user interface to make software use both easy and efficient. It also contains several different analysis tools for rivers. Included is a modeling system for water surface profiling and flow calculation, as well as a model for flow simulation. The system is capable of simulating sediment transport and calculating the movable boundaries of a river. There are also included analytics to determine water quality and to model general water temperature. Flat files are used for data management, organization, and storage. Also included is a comprehensive set of mapping and graphing tools. Read moreless