WeatherBug could warn of bioattack

Officials with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently announced they will be working with AWS Convergence technologies on a weather system that will be used during biological, chemical or nuclear attacks.

AWS Convergence owns the “WeatherBug” system, which is a network of approximately 8,000 observation stations situated across the United States.

AWS Convergence officials told that the WeatherBug system has a number of practical uses. One use researchers cited was the ability for the system to track forest fire particulates.

That same technology, researchers said, can also be used following a chemical, biological or nuclear attack. In these cases, the WeatherBug system will be used to relay information on how radiation or dangerous pathogens may be spreading through the atmosphere. Researchers told that the system could also be used to measure specific radiation levels in the atmosphere.

AWS Convergence officials also told that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Energy and Nuclear Security Administration for the project.

Weather data will also be utilized by the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center to study the paths of “plumes” released into the atmosphere, officials said.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was created in 1952 and served as an atomic weapons center during the Cold War. Since that time, however, it has grown into many areas of research, including climate studies and weather.