Operational Assimilation of LIDAR Derived Backscatter and Wind Data into an Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion Model

In the summer of 2016, the Aeris team, in partnership with Spectral Sensor Solutions (S3), participated in a 6-month proof of concept evaluation and demonstration effort funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).  The goal of this effort was to determine the operational feasibility and potential performance of an integrated standoff detection sensor and hazard prediction capability, utilizing currently available Commercial and Government Off the Shelf (COTS and GOTS) enabling technologies.  These key enabling technologies included the standoff aerosol detection/mapping and wind velocity estimation capabilities of the Real-time Eyesafe Visualization, Evaluation and Analysis Lidar (REVEAL), developed by S3, combined with the advanced atmospheric transport and dispersion (AT&D) capabilities of the Second order Closure Integrated PUFF (SCIPUFF) model, developed by Xator Corporation.  For this, the Aeris team developed, exercised, and evaluated methods for effectively assimilating the REVEAL raw products into the SCIPUFF model for a set of sample data from the 2015 Sophos/Kydoimos (S/K Challenge II) field trials held at the United States (U.S.) Army Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah.  Upon completion of the evaluation, a fully automated prototype was developed, which could be linked to a live REVEAL instrument, and able to provide rapidly updating downwind hazard predictions for each REVEAL generated scan (Figure 1).  The project culminated with the successfully demonstration of the REVEAL-SCIPUFF prototype during the 2016 S/K Challenge III field trials.  Finally, a high level summary of the effort was presented at the 2017 American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, WA January 22nd – 26th (https://ams.confex.com/ams/97Annual/webprogram/Paper308839.html).

Figure 1.  REVEAL-SCIPUFF live prototype screenshot from Sophos/Kydoimos Challenge III (August 26, 2016) illustrating a 4-minute prediction of surface concentration (bottom panel) based on the REVEAL detected plume (upper left panel) and wind velocity estimates (upper right panel).