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Livermore researchers apply combat simulation technology to homeland security

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Using a computer code originally developed for combat simulation, researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are supplying the same expertise that analyzes concepts of operation, technology and training to emergency responders as a part of the Lab's role in homeland security.

The Analytical Conflict and Tactical Simulation (ACATS) is an offshoot of the Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation (JCATS) that the military uses for training, analysis, mission planning and mission rehearsal. JCATS also has been used to support actual military operations in places such as Panama and the Persian Gulf.

ACATS applies JCATS' cutting-edge simulation capabilities to the scenarios that may take place in an urban setting, from the spread of a chemical or biological agent within a building to the search for survivors in the rubble of a bombed building. "This is a useful tool for first responders," said Bob Greenwalt, deputy director of the Lab's JCATS project. "It's a natural result of the application that the military has been using for years."

Emergency managers in Lee County, Alabama, tried out the system earlier this year during a scenario that involved a hypothetical terrorist attack on a water treatment plant. And Seattle first responders tested the system during an earthquake simulation.

The goal is to make ACATS available to local and state agencies to help them be better prepared for terrorist attacks, natural disasters and large-scale accidents.

Livermore has already established a new lab next to the existing JCATS laboratory where scientists are fine-tuning the ACATS system to better model city- and state-level events such as public health response and the effects of panicked citizens.

Greenwalt said that ACATS eventually would be able to take in real-time data from sensors and tracking devices attached to first responders, which would allow it to be used as incident control software in addi
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Contact: Anne M. Stark
stark8@llnl.gov
925-422-9979
DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
10-Dec-2002


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