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National Security - Atmospheric Technologies

The Atmospheric Technologies Group at the Savannah River National Laboratory provides expert meteorological and hydrological services and consultation in support of regulatory compliance, safety analysis, applied engineering, emergency preparedness and response, forest management, and site operations.  For over 25 years, ATG has developed, adapted, and applied technology to meet customer needs.  Helping customers anticipate and solve meteorological challenges has been the mission of ATG since its inception, utilizing a staff that possesses an extensive and diverse background in atmospheric sciences and engineering.
ATG provides:

  • Real-time modeling and assessment of unplanned releases of hazardous material to the air or surface waters over local, regional, and international scales
  • Weather forecasts and consultations for developing response actions to severe weather threats, and for planning weather-sensitive industrial operations, construction, and forest management activities
  • Development of custom meteorological data sets and climate statistics for applied research, engineering design, operations planning, safety analysis, and law enforcement

To meet operational needs, the Atmospheric Technologies Center is equipped to access a variety of real-time sources of local, national, and international meteorological information.  Satellite communications are used to provide a continuous feed of information.  This data includes world-wide surface and upper air observations; National Weather Service (NWS) text forecasts, discussions, and severe weather bulletins; world-wide coverage of high resolution satellite imagery; domestic single-site and mosaic radar imagery; real-time lightning strike data from the National   Lightning Detection Network, and output from NWS and European numerical weather prediction models.  Selected data streams are forwarded to computer resources for use as input to modeling systems that can be configured to generate near real-time predictions of contaminant transport following the unplanned release of hazardous material anywhere in the world.

ATG models simulated hazardous material releases that can provide vital information for local emergency response

The ATG has configured the advanced Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) to generate detailed operational forecasts of weather conditions across much of the Southeast U.S.  Using regional data from the ATC’s satellite feed and local data from the WIND System, RAMS produces a local 6 hour forecast every 3 hours, and a regional 36 hour forecast every 12 hours.  The RAMS output includes detailed forecasts of wind, temperature, mixing height, and other meteorological variables for the Savannah River Site and surrounding area.  Output from these operational forecasts can be used to conduct detailed, real-time assessments of an unplanned hazardous material release anywhere in the region, and to supplement available NWS data in developing local and regional weather forecasts. RAMS can also be quickly configured to produce operational forecasts of hurricane trajectories in the southeast U.S. Climatological Services.  With extensive databases of local and regional observations, the ATC serves as a comprehensive source of historical meteorological data and climatological analyses.

Click here to visit the SRNL Atmospheric Technologies Group (ATG) website

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