Papers and Articles
View a selection of the latest white papers, articles, and presentations from our technology experts, scientists and subject matter experts. You must register to download a white paper.
Protecting Communities from Chemical Warfare Agent
Authored by: Madhu Beriwal, IEM CEO, and Barbara Cochran, Ph.D., Software Development Manager
What do you do if there is an accident involving Sarin nerve gas and you are part of the team responsible for protecting thousands of people in the path of this deadly chemical plume? Emergency operations personnel at chemical weapons stockpile sites within the continental United States know exactly what to do. They rely on WebPuff, a state-of-the-art decision support system sponsored by the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity (CMA) and developed by IEM, a security consulting firm based in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park. WebPuff is used by military and civilian jurisdictions within the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP), which is jointly managed by the U.S. Army and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). WebPuff provides users at CSEPP sites with a suite of planning and response tools that are integrated with a unique chemical dispersion model that provides an advanced level of science on which decisions about public protection can be based. This paper was published in the proceedings of the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security.
Comments on An Improvement to the Brent’s Method
Authored by: Steven A. Stage, Ph.D., IEM Atmospheric Physicist/Dispersion Modeler
Say that for any given input value, x, we know how to compute an output value, y. There are many situations in which we know the output value, y, and would like to be able to determine the value of x that produced it. Sometimes this can easily be done using algebra or other math, but other times it is not possible to get an exact mathematical answer. Fortunately, several methods are available that enable computers to find good approximate answers. Dr. Stage’s paper, published in the International Journal of Experimental Algorithms (IJEA), examines several of these methods, including a method recently proposed in IJEA by Zhang, to see how quickly each method is able to find a good answer and provides guidance to help programmers select the method best suited to their specific needs.
Maximizing Behavior Analysis with Massive Multi-Sensor Networks
Authored by: Serge Olszanskyj, Ph.D., IEM Computational Scientist
The demand for mission-critical, real-time information is exploding in the Intelligence Community. With sensors becoming increasingly sophisticated, inexpensive, and interconnected, the response to this demand is coming in the form of massive multi-sensor networks. While such systems tantalize us with the ever-increasing potential for analytical omniscience, the reality is that analysts and decision-makers are overwhelmed by the large data sets being generated. This paper, published in the April 2012 issue of IQT Quarterly, presents a path toward effectively transforming the exponential growth in data streams into an asset for analysts through automated suggestions of future outcomes and behavioral intent.
Mass Prophylaxis Dispensing Concerns: Traffic and Public Access to PODs
Presented by: Dr. Sid Baccam, IEM Computational Epidemiologist
Policymakers have become increasingly concerned about the possibility of a terrorist attack using a biological agent on a civilian population. In response to this threat, a federally funded effort has been developed to prepare major U.S. cities and metropolitan areas to respond quickly and effectively to a large-scale bioterrorism event.
Points of Dispensing, or PODs, are used by emergency responders to dispense post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to the public following a bioterrorism event. Any failure in PEP dispensing could have serious public health consequences, which is why IEM has focused study efforts on issues related to POD access.
The project described in the paper was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a larger study on PEP dispensing logistics and medical consequences.
How to Make CFATS Work for You
Presented by: Mark Scott, IEM Critical Infrastructure Manager
The commercial chemical industry is required by DHS regulations to develop and implement security plans based on their level of risk. These requirements – known as the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, or CFATS – call for high-risk facilities to address 18 specific performance standards which then serve as the basis for inspection and enforcement by DHS. While CFATS focuses on security, the program can help a facility prepare for all types of hazards, not just security-related concerns. And it can improve collaboration between a facility and emergency responders in the surrounding community. This paper discusses ways in which the chemical industry can leverage CFATS to enhance preparedness
The Mixing Layer Terrain Wind Adjustment Model (MILTWAM) for Airflow over Complex Terrain
Presented by: Steven A. Stage, Innovative Emergency Management, Inc., Baton Rouge, LA; and Z. Wu, N. Mainkar, J. Weltman, and M. Myirski
This paper presents the Mixing Layer Terrain Wind Adjustment Model (MILTWAM) for airflow over complex terrain. MILTWAM is a diagnostic, mass-consistent, wind-field model based on NUATMOS (Ross, 1988). It is specifically designed for use in the D2-Puff dispersion model developed by Innovative Emergency Management Inc. and it produces realistic estimates of winds, even when only a few wind observations are available. This model is also fast enough for use in an emergency response dispersion model that runs on a personal computer (PC). Key features of the MILTWAM model are:
- The height of the top of the mixing layer is explicitly included in the model and imposes a non-porous upper lid on the flow. This upper lid is a major influence in determining the flow over the terrain.
- A three-dimensional model with terrain-following coordinates is used when the top of the mixing layer is above the highest terrain; a vertically-averaged two-dimensional model is used when the mixing layer is below the highest terrain.
- The winds output by the model are designed to agree with the observed winds at the observation points.
Model results are shown for simple geometric terrain and for real terrain.
Quantitative Assessment of Emergency Preparedness and Response Using QEM-World™