NEWS | March 13, 2012

NRL's CT-Analyst Operational Demo Delivered to Hamburg Germany Fire Brigade

By Donna McKinney

CT-Analyst, the Naval Research Laboratory's rapid urban plume modeling and hazard assessment system, was handed over to the chief of the Hamburg Fire Brigade in a ceremony held at the City Hall in Hamburg, Germany, on January 26.

The ceremony was marked by addresses by the president of the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance and the Hamburg minister for Internal Affairs. Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the University of Hamburg, a custom German language version of CT-Analyst with the specific geometry of the city of Hamburg (the second largest city in Germany) was developed and validated. University researchers made wind and tracer measurements in a scale model of the city in their large environmental wind tunnel. These measurements were used to validate results from CT-Analyst. Upon successful blind validation at University of Hamburg, CT-Analyst was declared ready for operational testing by the Hamburg Fire Brigade. Dr. Gopal Patnaik, who heads the Laboratory for Advanced Computational Physics in NRL's Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics, represented NRL at the ceremony in Hamburg.

NRL's CT-Analyst provides accurate, instantaneous, three-dimensional predictions of chemical, biological, & radiological (CBR) agent transport in urban settings. In the past, more accuracy has always meant more computing and more computing means more delay. Waiting even a fraction of a minute for a simplified scenario computation can be far too long for first responders to make timely situational assessments. Therefore, CT-Analyst uses the best computations possible prepared well ahead of time and captures their salient results in a highly compressed database to be manipulated and displayed instantly.

The CT-Analyst product can provide answers to first responders in approximately 0.05 seconds versus computational fluid dynamics models, which can take one to two hours to run per scenario. CT-Analyst also provides more detailed information, quicker, and with better results than industry accepted Puff/Plume models that take several minutes to run.

Three fourths of fatalities from direct exposure to a CBR agent can be traced back to the first 15 minutes of an event. If effective response begins in three to five minutes, 85% of these fatalities can be avoided. CT-Analyst allows users in the field and at operational nerve centers to work together, using the same data to effectively monitor and adjust planning and logistics as information is gathered or updated. CT-Analyst allows those analyzing a CBR scenario to view exposed and soon-to-be exposed regions based on very limited data. CT-Analyst also allows emergency management personnel to instantaneously project optimal evacuation paths based on the current evolving situation assessment.