Atmospheric Sciences and Air Quality Conferences


An emergency response system for the detection, tracking, and prediction of hazardous chemical releases

Jeffrey H. Copeland, NCAR, Boulder, CO

We present an integrated system to detect, track, and predict releases of hazardous chemicals into the atmosphere in an urban environment. The system consists of three components: a wind observing system, a standoff chemical sensor system, and a building aware flow and transport modeling system. The wind observing system is based upon an eye-safe Doppler lidar that is capable of producing a 3-dimensional snapshot of the wind field over a 25 square kilometer area at an update frequency of 5 minutes. The standoff chemical sensor system uses a network of Mobile Chemical Agent Detectors (MCAD) developed by Northrop Grumman. The MCAD system uses a Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to identify and locate a wide variety of chemical agents at ranges up to 5 kilometers from the detector. Output from the MCAD network is used to reconstruct the release cloud geometry that can then be used to initialize a chemical transport model. The flow and transport modeling system we use is Los Alamos National Lab's QUIC system. QUIC-Urb takes its input from the wind observing system and, through a mass consistent empirical flow distortion solution, is able to simulate the wind flow in and around structures in the urban environment. The output of QUIC-Urb, along with the results of the cloud detection algorithm of the MCAD network, are used to drive QUIC-Plume, a Lagrangian particle model, to predict the transport and diffusion of hazardous chemical releases. A significant advantage of our system lies in its integrated nature of detection and prediction. This can dramatically reduce the overal response time to a release, accidental or intentional, of chemical materials into the atmosphere.

Session 8, Emergency response (Parallel with Session 9)
Friday, 29 April 2005, 1:30 PM-3:45 PM, International Room

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