Dr. Jay Boris honored for biological agent tracking tool

Dr. Jay Boris has received the Timothy P. Coffey Innovation Award for creating a software tool to track predictions of the movement of chemical, biological and radiological agents.

Boris, the chief scientist and director of the Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics at the Naval Research Laboratory, has created software called CT-Analyst to provide accurate 3D predictions of how CBRN agents are transported in an urban setting.

CT-Analyst, where CT stands for Contaminant Transport, is powered through dispersion nomographs TM, a new technique that Boris created. It uses detailed, 3D, high-resolution fluid simulations to create a database that reflects how wind flows through and over a city. The simulations can be pre-computed so they can be ready at the scene of a crisis.

Earlier tools were prominently designed to work with flat terrain. CT-Analyst can be used to stimulate the presence of tall buildings.

The program is thought to be 1,000 times faster than existing approaches, as it also fuses data from sensors and verbal reports. Because the heavy computer work is done prior to an actual emergency, the software is able to move quickly to provide instant information on source location and plume dispersion patterns.

Commanders and emergency response officials making decisions about chemical, biological or radiological attacks, accidents and natural disasters on urban battlefields, in large building complexes and in urban environments could all make use of CT-Analyst.

The Timothy P. Coffey award was named after the Naval Research Laboratory’s fifth director. It was established to recognize the institution’s most exceptional scientific advancements and innovations. The innovations are distinguished as having a major impact on science and technology, particularly in the U.S. Naval field or on national security.