RealNews

Federal agencies begin bioterrorism test

A crop-duster plane flew over Oklahoma on Monday carrying a mixture of clay, water and alcohol for an Army bioterrorism test of whether radar would detect clouds of biological or chemical weapons. The harmless materials were chosen to produce a mist resembling the airborne particles that might be produced by a bioterrorism attack. The test, taking place in Oklahoma because of the state’s advanced weather radar system, will help Army and Environmental Protection Agency scientists determine how well radar can detect such materials. The new system would keep track of small planes and tiny puffs of particles that typical radars ignore. It will take weeks to analyze the data and determine how successful the test was, Army officials said. The goal is to develop computer technology for a nationwide bioterrorism detection system, said Robert Lyons, with the Army’s nuclear, biological and chemical detection program. The government hopes to install high-tech software in about 150 radar stations across the country. Full Story

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