RealNews

Sensors May Track Terror's Fallout

In preparation for a terrorist attack, federal scientists have installed sensors to map wind currents in downtown Washington, Arlington and Silver Spring, the first deployment of a high-tech network to help predict the airborne path of a chemical, biological or radioactive release. A half-dozen aluminum weather towers, each 30 feet tall, have been installed atop government buildings in what officials describe as the most comprehensive wind analysis attempted in any U.S. city. With more towers planned, the sensors are being positioned near sensitive sites — including Capitol Hill, the White House, the Pentagon, the Mall, the National Zoo and the National Arboretum — and on cellular relay towers within the Capital Beltway. The goal is to forecast how urban “wind fields” might disperse fallout from a weapon of mass destruction. The ultrasonic sensors sample the wind 10 times a second, with the data downloaded every 15 minutes and available to emergency planners and scientists nationwide. Full Story

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