NRL Crisis Management System to Address City-Wide Threats
BY JOHN C. MARCARIO, Seapower Special Correspondent
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is using a crisis management system to evaluate various threats to cities, such as a chemical attack, to understand to how to prepare, and deploy, resources to potentially impacted areas.
The NRL said the system, called CT-Analyst, is based on detailed urban aerodynamics computations using the large eddy simulation, and deployed to valuate wind-borne contaminant transport threats and to aid in time-critical civil defense decisions in cities, where current transport and dispersion methods are too slow and inaccurate.
The system is being used in several cities, including Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as internationally in Hamburg, Germany.
Adam Moses, a computer scientist at the laboratory, said the system focuses on providing rapid, accurate hazard assessment for primarily urban environments, because that is where more people are and several different variables can occur.
During a floor presentation at the 2018 Sea-Air-Space Exposition, Moses used a virtual demonstration to show how the system can predict what happens if a chemical plume were to engulf a major city.
“This is a useful tool for terrorist attacks, because situations are changing all the time,” he said.
The system was intended for military use before the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks in New York City, but is now deployed for a number of situations, including the last three presidential inaugurations, along with being used near ports and production facilities.