Scientists view air dispersion model
Argonne National Laboratory computer scientists in the Decision and Information Sciences Division, view the output from an air dispersion model that depicts the potential impact of a biological agent release. Having the necessary information at hand is key to saving lives in any biological event %u2013 whether it be flu or a biological release. Argonne scientists are using their skills in software integration to provide a decision-making system for state and local emergency managers. The system %u2013 Biological Warning and Incident Characterization (BWIC) %u2013 is currently being tested in three major U.S. cities. It is a support system for timely warning attack assessment, communications and effective response in the event of a biological attack. Funded by the Department of Homeland Security, BWIC is an integral part of the agency's BioWatch program. Argonne computer scientists have taken a diverse group of computer modeling programs %u2013 written in a variety of computer languages by research teams at a number of national laboratories %u2013 and integrated them to work seamlessly for an entire emergency response team. They also developed the main BWIC Situational Awareness Tool that keeps the emergency manager apprised of the latest estimates determined by analysts using modeling components. The package provides a common view of the event as it evolves to all agencies involved. Cities will have an assigned set of BWIC users who each have access to his or her personal BWIC analysis workspace. A special user, called the BWIC Operational System Supervisor (BOSS) has access to all of the information and has specialized tools for exporting data and information to other jurisdictions and agencies; others users may have access to only certain data or analysis tools, as needed. Analysts with specific expertise such as public health, environment or emergency management can perform their own analysis, view each others analysis results and update the BOSS command scre...
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