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The Threat of Chemical and Biological Terrorism: Roles for HPC in Preparing a Response
March/April 2002 (vol. 4 no. 2)
pp. 22-32

When a deadly contaminant is released in or around a building, city, or subway system, the airflow becomes very complex and the window of time for meaningful response is brief. Under the best of circumstances, the physical and fluid dynamic background is variable, and it is unlikely we will know how much of what a terrorist has released. The nation's scientific and technical communities are being asked to focus on this threat. High-performance computing has a major role to play in preparing an effective response. This article describes one such effort, the FAST3D modeling project, which exploits detailed 3D computational fluid dynamics simulations of the airflow in buildings and cities. Using high-performance computing has led to the discovery of important underlying physical simplifications that can aid the understanding and prediction of complex chemical and biological threat scenarios. These simplifications also point the way to an accurate, zero-latency method to compress, recall, and display important features of full 3D simulations so that decisions can be made with no computational delay.

Index Terms:
high-performance computing, airflow, simulation, modeling, fluid dynamics, visualization
Citation:
Jay Boris, "The Threat of Chemical and Biological Terrorism: Roles for HPC in Preparing a Response," Computing in Science and Engineering, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 22-32, March-April 2002, doi:10.1109/5992.988644
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