Our aim is to develop and optimize a model for a dielectric barrier discharge used as a chemical reactor for gas treatment. In order to determine the optimum operating conditions, we have studied the influence of the gas flow rate, reactor geometry and applied voltage parameters on the discharge characteristics. For this purpose, a two-dimensional time-dependent fluid model has been applied to an atmospheric pressure DBD in helium with nitrogen impurities, in a cylindrical geometry. The numerical model is based on the continuity and flux equations for each type of particles treated, the electron energy equation and the Poisson equation. The gas flow is incorporated in the flux equations as a source term. The set of coupled partial differential equations is solved by the so-called modified strongly implicit method. The background gas flow is numerically treated separately, assuming in the model that there is no influence of the plasma on the flow. Indeed, the gas convection velocity is calculated using the commercial code Fluent and it is used as input into the 2D fluid model. The plasma characteristics have been studied in terms of gas flow rate, applied voltage amplitude and frequency, and geometrical effects. The electric currents as a function of time for a given applied potential have been obtained, as well as the number densities and fluxes of plasma species.