The National Security Applications Program at RAL has grown to include a combination of DOD, foreign, and private–industry projects. RAL’s objective is to improve meteorological support of homeland security needs through the use of new capabilities in high–resolution mesoscale modeling, short–term thunderstorm prediction, multi–dimensional integrated displays, numerical weather prediction and fine–scale regional and global climatology prediction. New technologies are in operational use at Army ranges (ATEC) and are being implemented in Washington, DC at the Pentagon, originally sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and later adopted by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA).
While protecting the nation from deliberate acts is the goal of this work, an added benefit is improved ability to protect citizens from a toxic release caused by a natural disaster or an industrial or transportation accident. Lessons learned on these projects will also increase both our understanding and our ability to predict fine–scale urban weather.