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Proceedings Paper

Mitigation of chemical attacks in enclosed public transportation facilities
Author(s): William A. Swansiger; John E. Brockmann
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Paper Abstract

Public transportation facilities in the United States are vulnerable to attack by terrorists using chemical agents. This paper focuses on the problem of protecting the people in underground subway stations, which are among the most difficult facilities to protect. A nerve agent can produce symptoms in seconds to minutes, so immediate triggering of evacuation alarms and initiation of mitigation measures is necessary to minimize casualties in the station. The question of whether currently available chemical detectors are sufficiently capable and reliable to enable an automated response is addressed and augmentation possibilities are discussed. A number of concepts for mitigating chemical attacks are explored and their applicability to other transportation facilities is discussed. A possible near-term mitigation measure that is reviewed in some detail is the use of water sprays to scrub gasses and aerosols from the air. This technique may have applicability in the station at the point of agent release, as well as for detoxification of the air stream if selective venting is employed. Calculations show that with proper spray nozzle selection, the water pressure and flow rate available at some subway stations for fire suppression is sufficient for effective removal of Sarin from an air stream.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 December 1998
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3575, Enforcement and Security Technologies, (28 December 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.334996
Show Author Affiliations
William A. Swansiger, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
John E. Brockmann, Sandia National Labs. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3575:
Enforcement and Security Technologies
A. Trent DePersia; John J. Pennella, Editor(s)

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