The Pentagon, and its 25,000+ occupants, represents a likely target for a future terrorist attack using chemical, biological, or radiological material released into the atmosphere. Motivated by this, a building-protection system, called Pentagon Shield, is being developed and deployed by a number of government, academic, and private organizations. The system consists of a variety of data-assimilation and forecast models that resolve processes from the mesoscale to the city scale to the building scale, and assimilate meteorological and contaminant data that are measured by remote and in situ sensors. This paper reports on a field program that took place in 2004 in the area of the Pentagon, where the aim was to provide meteorological data and concentration data from tracer releases, and to support the development and evaluation of the system. In particular, the results of the field program are being used to improve our understanding of urban meteorological processes, verify the overall effectiveness of the operational building protection system, and verify the skill of the component meteorological, and transport and dispersion, modeling systems. Based on the experience gained in this project, it will be more straightforward to develop similar systems to protect other high-profile facilities against the accidental or intentional release of hazardous material into the atmosphere.

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Footnotes

Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

Pentagon Force Protection Agency, Arlington, Virginia

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground, Dugway, Utah

Field Research Division, NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho

U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, Maryland

*Deceased