Argonne technologies for homeland security

As President George W. Bush learned when he visited Argonne Monday, July 22, 2002, Argonne [National Laboratory] scientists are adapting existing technologies to solve homeland security challenges [...]

The PROTECT system -- developed by Argonne's Decision and Information Systems, [and] Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories -- combines detection, communication and quick-response strategies to protect subways against chemical attacks. Short for "Program for Response Options and Technology Enhancements for Chemical/Biological Terrorism," PROTECT includes: chemical agent detectors; video [surveillance and] identification; computer software to simulate the spread of contamination wireless communication for emergency responders.

When PROTECT is triggered, alarms sound at the subway operation center. Computer operators are guided with Argonne-developed software through a series of responses that vary depending on the amount and toxicity of the chemical released. Wired-jack or wireless communications allow emergency workers to carry out aboveground rescues safely.

PROTECT is being expanded throughout the Washington, D.C., subway system. The Chicago and Boston transit authorities also are interested.

Originally published by Argonne National Laboratory.)

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