Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and AWS Convergence Technologies Form Public/Private Partnership in Support of Emergency Response Services to the Federal Government
Germantown, MD - September 29, 2010 - AWS Convergence Technologies, owner of the WeatherBug® brand of professional and consumer weather products and services and operator of the largest weather observing and lightning network, today announced it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration's (DOE/NNSA) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to facilitate enhanced situational awareness for the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC). This public/private partnership will enhance NARAC's emergency response system and operations by incorporating a vastly expanded set of live weather information from the real-time WeatherBug Network.
NARAC is the Department of Energy's plume modeling center and serves as the operations hub of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-led Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center (IMAAC). NARAC's mission is to provide timely and accurate real-time advisories to emergency managers throughout the United States for rapid decision-making during chemical, biological, and radiological/nuclear atmospheric releases. NARAC provides plots of dose, exposure, hazard areas, and meteorological conditions and conducts analyses to estimate the amount of contaminants released into the environment using field measurement data.
The WeatherBug Network includes 8,000 proprietary surface weather observation stations, many of which are located throughout major metropolitan areas and surrounding critical infrastructure. The local weather information from the WeatherBug Network is being provided to NARAC for integration into its set of decision-support aids.
"This is a critical capability for NNSA, and this partnership will further improve our ability to provide detailed information to federal, state and local emergency responders when they need it most," said NNSA's Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations, Joseph Krol.
"Incorporation of live, local meteorological information into NARAC provides the levels of timeliness and detail necessary for quickly and accurately assessing atmospheric conditions at an incident site. This public/private partnership will serve to expand our access to critical, local weather information necessary to better meet the needs of emergency responders and decision-makers," stated Gayle Sugiyama, LLNL Leader of NARAC/IMAAC.
"We have been working closely with the federal government for many years to expand critical environmental observing infrastructure for use in a variety of applications," said Bill Callahan, AWS Vice President of Program Management. "We are pleased that this partnership will serve to enhance our nation's emergency response capabilities."
The National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (https://narac.llnl.gov/) provides tools and services that map the probable spread of hazardous material accidentally or intentionally released into the atmosphere. NARAC atmospheric plume predictions and analyses inform critical decisions on evacuation, sheltering, relocation, and worker protection.Located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, NARAC is a national support and resource center for planning, real-time assessment, emergency response, and detailed studies of incidents involving a wide variety of hazards, including nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, and natural emissions.
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.