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CREATIVE Methods To Mitigate Evolving Chem-Bio Warfare Distribution
Courtesy Story by Defense Threat Reduction Agency CBTD - September 7, 2016

Fort Belvoir, VA -  Our adversaries are becoming increasingly skilled in chemical and biological warfare and continue to engineer new dissemination methods, putting the warfighter and military operations at risk. To combat this, experts from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Joint Science and Technology Office and the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center are getting creative with a new decontamination System Performance Model (SPM).

Led by JSTO's Mr. Michael Roberts and ECBC's Dr. Brent Mantooth, the Contact hazard, Residual hazard, Efficacy, Agent, Test and evaluation, Integrated and Variable Environment (CREATIVE) decontamination SPM uses a computer-based modeling approach to simulate processes. These include contamination, decontamination and post-decontamination contact when a chemical or biological agent is present.

Factors such as the scenario, how people interact with decontaminated materials and the amount of time before decontamination is initiated all affect potential outcomes of warfighter and operational safety and are accounted for by the CREATIVE SPM.

July 25, 2016 - The CREATIVE Decontamination System Performance Model. (Image provided by Mr. Michael Roberts, DTRA Joint Science and Technology Office)
July 25, 2016 - The CREATIVE Decontamination System Performance Model. (Image provided by Mr. Michael Roberts, DTRA Joint Science and Technology Office)

Decontamination involves a complex series of interacting processes that contribute to post-decontamination hazards such as vapor emission and contact transfer. Currently, the CREATIVE SPM uses deterministic physics-based models to simulate contamination, decontamination and post-decontamination hazards for a wide range of military materials from traditional and emerging threats. Engineered with a generation approach, JSTO and ECBC will continually update CREATIVE SPM to add new threats and implement layers of complexity over time.

The generation-based approach allows the JSTO and ECBC teams to address the daunting challenge that each contaminant-material-decontaminant combination is a unique system with substantially different responses. The model parameters are not trivial to determine and most parameters vary with environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity and wind.

For example, scenarios in confined spaces, such as a vehicle cabin, with a specific chemical agent may result in high exposures. If the same agent is dispersed in open-air, lower exposure levels may be recognized.

In both cases, decontamination would reduce the source term of the material, but result in different operational effects. The number of potential scenarios leads to a continuum of results, making accurate decontamination modeling difficult.The CREATIVE SPM allows JSTO and ECBC to employ new technologies by understanding the driving mechanisms behind decontamination and simulating the conditions that are not safe, not capable or cost-prohibitive to test.

The JSTO and ECBC team continue to increase computational capability and efficiency when characterizing and implementing decontamination kinetics within CREATIVE SPM. Developments will continue throughout fiscal year 2017 as the team enhances models for complex military materials to improve the predictive capability for vapor and contact exposures.

Courtesy Story by
Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Chemical and Biological Technologies Department (DTRA-CBTD)
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2016

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