Validation of the BERT Point Source Inversion Scheme Using the Joint Urban 2003 Tracer Experiment Dataset - Final Report [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Homeland Security, 2012.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Additional Creators:
- Los Alamos National Laboratory
United States. Department of Homeland Security
United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- A terrorist attack in a U.S. city utilizing biological weapons could have severe consequences. A biological agent could be aerosolized and emitted into the air in the middle of a city, invisibly traveling with the winds, and dosing an unknowing populace. The magnitude of the problem would only be revealed as sick people started arriving several days later at hospitals with symptoms, many already too ill to be saved. A national program has deployed a network of biological agent collectors in U.S. cities to provide early detection of a bio-weapon attack, thereby hastening medical intervention and potentially saving many thousands of lives. In fact, the most effective treatment takes place prior to infection or in its early stages and early warning might reduce the disease progression and, consequently, the possibility of an outbreak. If a biological attack were to occur in a city, one or more collectors may register hits with specific dosages and the city would be alerted that an attack had taken place. This piece of information alone, however, would not be enough to determine how serious the attack was, i.e., how much biological agent was released into the air and where the bio-plume traveled. The first responders and public health communities will want to know what regions were impacted, how many persons might get sick, which people most need medical supplies, and where to clean up. The law enforcement community will want to look for forensic evidence at the release location. The Bio-Agent Event Reconstruction Tool (BERT) has been developed in order to recreate what might have happened during an airborne biological agent attack based on biological agent collector measurements and wind collectors mounted around a city. The tool can be used to estimate possible release areas while eliminating other areas, and can estimate bounds on the amount of material released. The tool can then be used to project forward from the possible source areas to estimate potential hazard zones. Due to a unique source inversion technique - called the upwind collector footprint approach - the tool runs fast and the source regions can be determined in a few minutes. In this report, we provide an overview of the BERT framework, followed by a description of the source inversion technique. The Joint URBAN 2003 field experiment held in Oklahoma City that was used to validate BERT is then described. Subsequent sections describe the metrics used for evaluation, the comparison of the experimental data and BERT output, and under what conditions the BERT tool succeeds and performs poorly. Results are aggregated in different ways (e.g., daytime vs. nighttime releases, 1 vs. 2 vs. 3 hit collectors) to determine if BERT shows any systematic errors. Finally, recommendations are given for how to improve the code and procedures for optimizing performance in operational mode.
- Published through SciTech Connect.
Brambilla, Sara; Brown, Michael J.
- Funding Information:
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