The Atmospheric Technologies Group (ATG)

The Atmospheric Technologies Group of the Savannah River National Laboratory conducts an active program of applied research and development related to: (1) the transport and fate of contaminants released to the environment from industrial activity or malevolent act for applications in emergency response, nuclear nonproliferation, and carbon science, and (2) applied assessments of regional and local climate as related to the sustainability of energy generation and natural resources in response to possible future climate change. Originally established in 1974, the ATG is currently part of the National and Homeland Security Directorate of SRNL. The SRNL is the Corporate R&D laboratory for the Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management.

Collage of atmospheric research photos

Major Program Areas:

Emergency Response

The ATG has a long history of developing and applying technologies used to rapidly assess the consequences of hazardous materials releases into the environment. These technologies seamlessly integrate real-time meteorological data with a suite of computer models that reliably predict the transport of both airborne and aqueous releases over scales from a few miles to hundreds of miles. Results are tailored to support the development of effective protective actions for both prompt and long-term consequences of the release, whether from a fixed facility, transportation event, or a malevolent act involving weapons of mass destruction. ATG's leadership in this area stems from years of active support of emergency management at Savannah River, active research conducted under our Advanced Atmospheric Modeling program, and participation in national and international initiatives such as the European Union's Ensemble program.

Advanced Atmospheric Modeling

A fundamental component of the ATG mission is the development and application of advanced local-to-regional scale atmospheric models. A suite of models are used by ATG scientists for conducting research in data assimilation and optimization, source attribution, and investigations of atmospheric phenomena, such as sea breeze fronts or nocturnal gravity waves, that are important to air contaminant transport and fate. In addition, mesoscale models are run operationally for the Southeast U.S. and various other regions of the globe to support emergency response, nuclear nonproliferation customers, and weather forecasting.

Climate Science

The ATG is leveraging unique assets available at the Savannah River Site to conduct research in the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 characteristic of the Southeast U.S - a critical region of the country for carbon sequestration - and to develop improved methods for attribution of the sources and sinks of atmospheric carbon. This research utilizes ATG's considerable observational infrastructure, capabilities and experience in atmospheric modeling at micro- to meso-scales, and the unique experimental platform offered by a nearly 300 square mile reservation of controlled woodland. The ATG has partnered with the NOAA to establish a Carbon Tracker site at our Tall Tower Facility. Furthermore, ATG is conducting research on reliable techniques for downscaling output from global climate models to predict detailed characterizations of future climatic conditions at regional to local scales, for use in assessing the resiliency of conventional and renewable sources of energy from changes in the availability of natural resources, such as water (hydro and nuclear), wind, sunshine (solar), and air quality (fossil).

Meteorological Programs for DOE's Savannah River Site and Local Communities

The ATG conducts applied meteorological programs required for safe and efficient operations at DOE's Savannah River Site, in compliance with applicable state and Federal regulations. This includes a comprehensive, best-in-class meteorological monitoring program, state of the science modeling capability for emergency response, air modeling of industrial emissions for permitting and regulatory compliance, weather forecasting for critical work planning and severe weather, and climatological assessments for facility design, site selection, and construction. Through mutual aid agreements with five neighboring counties, ATG provides technical support to local emergency management agencies. The ATG was instrumental in assisting nearby Aiken County in their response to the Graniteville rail accident in which a large release of chlorine occurred following the rupture of a 90-ton rail car.



ATG Notes

Current Research
Southeast Ensemble Forecasts

Improving Operational Forecasts Utilizing Non-Standard Data

Carbon Flux Studies

* Simulation of Low-Level Jet at the Oklahoma ARM Site
* Tall Tower Tracer Experiment
* Analysis of Boundary Layer Data for the Tall Tower

Atmospheric Optimization/Source Attribution

* An Infrared Boundary Layer Profiler
* Plume Source Localization by Adaptive Sampling from an Airborne Platform
* Uncertainty in the Global Forecast System

Participation in the EU's ENSEMBLE Program

* SRNL's Participation in the EU's ENSEMBLE Program
* ENSEMBLE Participation in Simulation of Iceland Volcanic Eruption

ATG Facilities and Infrastructure
Atmospheric Technologies Center
Atmospheric and Aqueous Modeling
SRS Meteorological Tower Network
SoundAnchor™ Nondestructive Testing Method
SRS Climatology Facility
Tall Tower Facility
Advanced Carbon Flux Observation Platforms
Field Deployable Meteorological Resources
Emergency Reponse Technologies
ATG Engineering Facility
Computing Resources

Upcoming Meetings & Workshops
AMS Palmetto Chapter Quarterly Meeting

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