SATURN is primarily a detailed highway traffic assignment suite with additional facilities for matrix manipulation and demand estimation from counts. Its strengths lie in its flexibility and the scope of the analysis features offered, including comprehensive graphical display capabilities. It is equally applicable to strategic county or district wide studies as it is to detailed city models where the combination of simulation and assignment is particularly important.

SATURN has been developed as a combination of academic theoretical rigour, through the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds, Dr Dirck Van Vliet and the practical knowledge of Atkins Transportation.

SATURN may be used in several different roles including:

         As a conventional assignment model for regional or national models;

         As a pure junction simulation model to support the detailed design process; or more usually

         As a combined simulation and assignment model for the analysis of either large or small network changes such as the introduction of one-way streets, changes to junction controls, bus-only streets, etc. and whose evaluation requires a detailed analysis of traffic behaviour at junctions.

With both simulation and conventional network representations SATURN provides a wide range of assignment options such as generalised cost, all-or-nothing, Wardrop equilibrium, Burrell multiple-route assignment (SUE) and, more recently, demand-responsive (elastic) assignment to deal with induced traffic. All these are founded on theoretically consistent modelling frameworks and convergent algorithms reflecting the academic background of SATURN’s development.

SATURN and its associate modules have been used by over 350 organisations worldwide, including state, local authority and major consultancies in more than 30 countries. It is the modelling tool of choice for major projects in the UK and has been the under continuous development for more than 30 years.

For more information, please contact us.