Navigation Links
Berkeley Lab researchers participate in Homeland Security study of subway airflow
Date:12/10/2009

Researchers with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are participating in a study sponsored by the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in conjunction with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to determine how airborne contaminants would spread if released into Boston's subway system. During the study, which is now underway and runs from December 5-11, the Berkeley Lab researchers will be measuring how gas gets dispersed throughout tunnels and subway cars.

"The data we're collecting will help in the development of the next generation of biological and chemical agent detector systems," says Melissa Lunden, a chemist with the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) who leads Berkeley Lab's participation. "The information will also provide a better understanding of airflow characteristics in subway systems that should be useful for planning responses to fires, unintentional chemical or fuel spills, and other emergencies."

In addition to Lunden, other Berkeley Lab EETD researchers working on this DHS study include Doug Black, William Delp, Toshifumi Hotchi, Jennifer Logue, Ann McDonagh, Richard Sextro, and Tracy Thatcher.

While Boston's MBTA subway system has never been threatened or attacked, terrorists have threatened subway systems in New York and elsewhere. In 1995, a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system by domestic terrorists killed a dozen people and injured dozens more.

"Proactively studying and preparing for possible threats is one of our most effective strategies for fortifying our critical infrastructure," said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in announcing this study. "DHS is undertaking many studies such as this across the country to inform our emergency response planning in preparation for chemical or biological terrorist attacks."

The MBTA study involves the release of common, harmless tracer gases used for indoor and outdoor air testing (sulfur hexafluoride and perfluoro-carbon); an inert particle tracer tagged with a biologically inert, non-toxic organic dye used in medical imaging applications; and, a common chemical often used as a brightening agent in laundry detergents and paper manufacturing. Particle and gas concentrations are being sampled in more than 20 stations and in subway cars, but normal MBTA operations are not being disrupted by the activities of the researchers.

Joining Berkeley Lab in this effort are scientists from Argonne National Laboratory, ICx Technologies of Arlington, Virginia, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory of the United Kingdom, and the Chemistry Centre of Australia.

"The Argonne team, under David Brown, has created a computational model for predicting the behavior of airborne contaminants in subway systems," says Lunden. "We will now have actual subway data measurements that can be compared to the model's predictions and used to refine it."

Because air temperature is a driver of airflow, Lunden and her colleagues will return to Boston in the summer of 2010 to conduct further measurements. Berkeley Lab EETD researchers were part of a similar study conducted in 2007 and 2008 by DHS of the "Metro" subway system that serves the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Berkeley researchers identify photosynthetic dimmer switch
2. UC Berkeley virologist named Keck Distinguished Young Scholar
3. Nanyang Technological University and University of California, Berkeley pursue research alliance
4. Berkeley Lab lends expertise to India to promote energy efficiency
5. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
6. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
7. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
8. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
9. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
10. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
11. Researchers discover new strategies for antibiotic resistance
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Berkeley Lab researchers participate in Homeland Security study of subway airflow
(Date:5/16/2016)... , May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC ... today announced the opening of an IoT Center of ... strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris biometric ... unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched biometric ... one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and ... global partnership that will provide end customers with ... banking and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... area for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... April 20, 2016 The new ... a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door ... reader or the door interface with integration authorization management ... control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control ... the building installations offer considerable freedom of design with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... solutions for clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter ... their care circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a ... engineering, was today awarded as one of the ... the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is ... the real world in the nutrition, health and ... directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in ... peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on ... biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
Breaking Biology Technology: