ARL News

Major Study of Dispersion in New York City


July 15, 2005

The Department of Homeland Security is leading an Urban Dispersion Study in New York City, that is about to start. NOAA, through the Air Resources Laboratory, is providing the atmospheric tracer capability that underpins the study, and is leading the effort to install rooftop towers at key locations. The ARL DCNet program has already installed two towers in New York, that serve as a foundation for the program now evolving. The intensive study will start in early August. The ARL team is already assembling in New York.

Three Divisions of ARL are heavily involved. The Field Research Division in Idaho Falls, Idaho, is providing the tracer capability mentioned above. The Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is providing for surface meteorology, and the Atmospheric Sciences Modeling Division in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, is contributing studies of flow in the street canyons, using both physical (wind tunnel) and computational fluid dynamics techniques. This last work is sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency.

This work is a component of the larger multi-agency program addressing urban issues related to homeland security, and coordinated under the NOAA Homeland Security Program. The NOAA contrubution to this effort is small, but serves as a basis for work with a number of other agencies, especially the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (a partner with DHS in New York City) and the Department of Energy, in addition to DHS and EPA.

Contact information: Bruce B. Hicks
Phone: (301) 713-0684